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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) _ President Eduardo Duhalde signaled in a speech Friday his goverment would devalue the peso, saying it was ``a given'' that the currency will be cut free from its peg to the U.S. dollar.

Duhalde's economy minister, Jorge Remes Lenicov, is expected to announce a new economic plan later Friday for getting Argentina out of its worst economic crisis in decades.

Speaking to business leaders, Duhalde would not comment on how large a devaluation would be, but he said: ``The devaluation is a given.''

Analysts have predicted the government will decrease the worth of the peso by up to 40 percent, ending a decade-long peg with the dollar that many Argentines saw as key to economic stability.