December 5, 2013
'Debt swap is not a way to dodge justice' - Lorenzino
The debt swap announced by President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner earlier this week landed in the Senate today with Economy Minister Hernán Lorenzino and his second-in-command Axel Kicillof defending a move that seeks to win over a 1.3 billion dollar dispute against vulture funds.
“This is no move to dodge Justice, it is a correct proposal to ratify that Argentina not only has payment capacity but that it maintains it,” Lorenzino said as he introduced the government-sponsored debt swap that sets a third debt restructuring allowing creditors which did not access the 2005 and 2010 swaps to get their money back.
“We have abided by our commitments and will keep doing it but (judge Griesa’s) ruling brings uncertainty over Argentina’s payment capacity,” Lorenzino said and warned vulture funds “will not take” the South American country to a 2001-like scenario when poverty and unemployment reached skyrocketing rates following the historic default more than a decade ago. “That past is far more near than others expect, those who want to damage our present and condition our future,” the official insisted.Lorenzino and Kicillof were addressing this morning a Senate joint committee expecting to clear the bill for the floor.
Head of the Kirchnerite caucus senator Miguel Ángel Pichetto praised Fernández de Kirchner’s decision to open a new debt swap considering the move shows that Argentina “stands by all its international commitments” but defending “national interests.”
In a national television address on Monday, the head of state announced she was submitting to congress the debt swap bill questioning last week’s ruling by New York Appeals judge Thomas Griesa in favour of vulture funds NML Capital and Aurelius Capital Management suing Argentina over the country’s defaulted bonds a decade ago and that refused to enter both the 2005 and 2010 debt restructuring that 93 percent of creditors did accept.