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At UN, Argentina's Kirchner slams debt 'vultures'

25 september 2014, 13:48

 Argentine President Cristina Kirchner, addressing the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, lashed out at "vulture funds" that are pursuing her country for payment on Argentine bonds they hold, AFP reports.

But she said her government, which fell into default on its borrowings at the end of July due to a US court ruling supporting the funds' complaint, would make good on its debt whatsoever.

Argentina is "a country that is willing to pay and is able to pay. And will pay despite the harassment of the vulture funds," she said.

Argentina is still struggling with the aftermath of a default on nearly $100 billion in debt in 2001, with the two hedge funds it labels vultures battling the country in US courts.

Kirchner blamed as well the "complicity of the US justice system" in supporting the claims of the hedge funds, which bought defaulted Argentine debt on the cheap, and then sued the government for full payment in US federal court after refusing to join most of the country's creditors in restructuring its debt.

A New York judge has forbidden the country from servicing its mainstream debt unless it first pays at least $1.3 billion to the hedge funds.

The judge also blocked agent banks from transferring debt service payments from Buenos Aires to its regular creditors, creating a complex legal battle that has set back the struggling Argentine economy and prevented it from accessing global capital markets.

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