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December 19, 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Senate committees approve debt swap bill

The proposed law to declare as of public interest the 2005 and 2010 debt restructurings and sovereign payments has obtained approval from the Senate Finance and Budget and Foreign Relations Committees.

The initiative, defended in the Upper House by Economy minister Axel Kicillof and Legal and Technical secretary Carlos Zannini, has therefore been cleared for debate in the full Senate chamber, where it will heard on September 3.

Government-allied committee were able to ensure that the bill would clear its first hurdle before entering the full chamber, with Kicillof and other Victory Front politicians defending the change in debt jurisdiction as necessary for Argentina to honour its commitments to bondholders.

Zannini asserted that the government was "trying to avoid a return to 2001," remarking that "this is not a law to avoid obligations, but fulfil them."

"The project seeks to create a way forward without breaking the contract we have with bondholders," the secretary pointed out, adding that "meeting the terms of [New York judge Thomas] Griesa's ruling is impossible."

But opposition leaders from across the political spectrum voiced their criticism of the proposal during today's audience.

Federal Peronism leader Adolfo Rodríguez Saá questioned the payment of the debt, calling it "the biggest monument to international corruption and usury."

"This government confirmed Griesa's jurisdiction and now we have to foot the bill. Why can they not return us the chance to contribute? Let us form a bicameral committee that takes charge of fixing the internal and external debt of Argentina," he fired.

FAP-UNEN senator Fernando 'Pino' Solanas, meanwhile, echoed Rodríguez Saá's sentiments, affirming that the country has already paid "almost 400 billion dollars in debt services since the dictatorship to the present day."

"What is all this if not a failure," the politician lamented, while advising that the entire foreign debt should be revised due to the illegality of the part taken out while under military rule.
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Tags:  Committee  Kicillof  senate  debt  vulture funds  





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