December 21, 2014
Lawmakers react to the US Supreme Court rulings
Héctor Recalde (Victory Front)What’s your reaction to the US Supreme Court’s decision?
I think we all knew the outcome — especially when coming from a court shut away in an ivory tower. They are not aware of the consequences of their decision, which favours financial speculation at the expense of the future of thousands of millions of people. This will have a huge impact on debt renegotiations by other countries.
How serious is this for the country?
The situation is not dramatic. The goal of the country is to “reach” January 1, 2015. (When it will be able to open up new negotiations.)
Does the government share any of the blame?
The Argentine government did all it could regarding its legal defence. There were no legal flaws, as this is not a technical decision by the US Supreme Court — which is, in fact, a “political” court. This is a punishment for the process of debt reduction that the country has undergone.
Do you believe the president’s harsh words toward hedge funds may have affected the final outcome?
Do you believe a gesture, an attitude, the sound of a word may have anything to do with the Supreme Court’s decision? On the other hand, the position taken by opposition leaders was crystal clear: part of the opposition did not even join the trip to Washington taken by national lawmakers and some senators. Why dismiss the idea that this — and not the president’s words — weakened the Argentine position? I mean politically, at least.
Alicia Ciciliani (Broad Front)
What’s your opinion on yesterday’s decision?
It’s surely a big concern for all Argentines. We’re now waiting to be called on to discuss the next steps along with all political forces and to be informed of the current situation. We need a political deal and to take this issue with the seriousness it deserves.
What’s your criticism of the stance taken by the national government?
As (Broad Front-UNEN leader Hermes) Binner said, we have shared the same concern from the very beginning: we should have been negotiating this issue step by step, without discrediting international organizations. It was a mistake to say we were not going to pay and that we were going to take extreme measures. It was mismanaged from the start from the Economy Ministry and in terms of foreign relations. But the problem is now on the table and we need to address it without going into default, while at the same time protecting the debt restructuring deals.
What would you say is the best path to take?
The best thing we can do is to create an opportunity for negotiation in the context of what’s being discussed with (Judge Thomas) Griesa. We’re faced with a very difficult situation, but to be able to comment we need first-hand information. We were cautious about the trip last week (to Washington). We should avoid last-minute measures — we need planned policies. The issue of debt should never have left Congress. We need to get this back on track through political accords.
Fernando ‘Pino’ Solanas (UNEN)
What’s your view on the US Supreme Court decision?
It’s a bad decision, of course — a horrible outcome for countries undergoing a debt restructuring. But on the other hand, it reveals the failure of the debt reduction programme undertaken by the Kirchnerite administration.
Why do you think the government is to blame?
I would rather not talk about the legal strategy, but I can say the following: all debt-related issues have been led by the Executive leaving Congress aside, which has been a clear violation of the Constitution.
What can be done?
We’ll need to see what the next move is by bondholders who entered previous debt swaps.