September 2, 2018 / 3:19 PM / 18 days ago

Argentina's president to eliminate ministries in austerity push: media

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentine President Mauricio Macri is planning to eliminate several ministries from the federal government as his administration seeks to cut the budget deficit to quell a run on the peso currency, local media outlets reported on Sunday.

FILE PHOTO: Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri speaks during a news conference at the Olivos Presidential Residence in Buenos Aires, Argentina, July 18, 2018. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci/File Photo

Local newspaper La Nacion reported that 13 ministries would be chopped or merged with others, citing unnamed government sources, while daily Clarin put the number at 10. Both papers said the ministries of science, culture, energy, agriculture and tourism would cease to exist as stand-alone entities.

The reported government restructuring comes after Macri asked the International Monetary Fund to speed up disbursements of a $50 billion loan last week.

The government has pledged further austerity, and Treasury Minister Nicolas Dujovne is expected to announce a series of economic measures on Monday.

Spokesmen for Macri, Argentina’s cabinet chief’s office and Argentina’s Treasury Ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Reporting by Luc Cohen; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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