December 20, 2014
Government makes debt payment on restructured bonds, blasts Washington for judicial rulings
Economy Minister Axel Kicillof held a press conference to announce the government has made a payment of 1 billion dollars in New York, serving its debt commitments with creditors that accepted the 2005 and 2010 swaps. The move comes as no agreement has been yet reached with vulture funds suing the country over its defaulted bonds and rejecting Argentina's debt restructuring process.With the Cristina Fernández de Kirchner administration still waiting for US courts to approve its 'stay' request that would grant Argentina time to negotiate a settlement with vulture funds and prevent a default as the country is due to to make more than $500 million in interest payments on June 30, the federal government decided to wait not longer to "honour" its bond restructured commitments, warning of "embargo" risks in the United States.
In a brief speech, Kicillof read a statement explaining the government’s decision to “honour its commitments” with 92.4 percent of bondholders that agreed to Argentina’s debt swaps, stressing today’s payment followed a “sovereign decision."
The minister condemned what he called a “technical default euphemism,” blaming United States rulings for forcing a “sovereign” nation to default, “banning it from serving its debts” and “affecting the interests of the majority of bondholders.”
In that sense, Kicillof ratified the government’s condemnation of US Court District Judge Thomas Griesa’s “bias” in favour of vulture funds, seeking to “knock down the 2005 and 2010 debt restructurings that reached 92.4 percent of creditors” and which holdouts “never agreed to take part in.”
Escorted by Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich and Legal and Technical Secretary to the Presidency Carlos Zannini, the minister praised the international support Argentina has rallied over the past weeks in its 1.3 billion dollar dispute that could plunge the South American country into default.
“It comes clear that this support means to acknowledge the logic and fairness of our demands and the systemic impacts these rulings will have,” the minister said and reaffirmed Argentina’s “commitments to serve its debts with 100 percent of creditors in fair and legal conditions.”