Kicillof and Zannini to attendWednesday, August 27, 2014
Debt swap debate begins in Senate today
Another round of tense debates is expected to begin today as Economy Minister Axel Kicillof will head to the Senate to defend a new bill that would allow for the voluntary payment of the country’s creditors in Buenos Aires. This, only a day after the Central Bank suspended the Bank of New York Mellon’s (BoNY) operations in Argentina (See Page 3).
The ruling Victory Front (Fpv) is expected to expedite the bill through the Budget and Foreign Affairs Committees, ending debate tomorrow and taking the measure for a vote on the Senate floor by September 3. The rush is predicated on the fact that the next debt payment is scheduled for September 30 and the bill must also receive approval from the Lower House before it can be enacted.
The bill was announced by President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner last week as a way to guarantee normal debt servicing of the country’s restructured bondholders in light of the legal restrictions put into place by Judge Thomas Griesa. The bill also provides for the issuance of new bonds under Argentine legislation with the same nominal value as the bonds included in the 2005 and 2010 debt swaps. Unanimous support has been received the initiative among FpV lawmakers.
Nonetheless, it has met with opposition from the UCR, PRO, Renewal Front and sectors of the dissident Peronist parties represented in the Senate and the Lower House. They have justified their rejection on the grounds that it is establishes a poor legal precedent. An alternative bill proposed by the oppoistion has been discussed but it has yet to be made public.
Carlos Zannini, the president’s Legal and Technical secretary and Attorney-General Angelina Abbona will also speak to senators.