By Helen Popper
BUENOS AIRES, Jan 26 (Reuters) – An Argentine congressional commission summoned top economic officials on Tuesday as it debates the president’s firing of the central bank chief in a row over using foreign reserves to pay debt.
The commission’s decision is non-binding, but President Cristina Fernandez wants it to give its opinion quickly to end a crisis at the Central Bank that has rattled financial markets and raised concerns a planned debt swap could be delayed.
“For there to be certainty about Argentina, the commission must reach a conclusion on the removal of the former president of the Central Bank this week,” said Miguel Angel Pichetto, head of the ruling party bloc in the Senate.
Pro-government bank directors have already appointed a new interim Central Bank president, Miguel Pesce, who had been the bank’s vice president, to replace Martin Redrado. Redrado, who was barred by police from entering the bank’s premises on Sunday, says he remains president.
But even opposition leaders who welcomed Redrado’s refusal to transfer central bank reserves to the Treasury have joined the government in calling for him to step aside in order to end the leadership crisis at the bank.