Argentina slams vulture funds, US judge

Argentina came out swinging on August 13 against the US judge overseeing its debt default case.

The Argentine government said it would not agree to restart discussions with the vulture funds anytime soon as the stalemate over Argentina's debt continues.

Argentina also slammed the US District Court Judge Thomas Griesa, who said on August 8 he would fine Argentina in contempt of court unless Argentina stopped claiming it had met its obligations and was not in default.

Argentine Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich said: “The proper conditions do not exist to negotiate.”

Argentina had deposited US$539 million into intermediary banks in time for their June 30 payment with the 93% of restructured bond holders. But Judge Griesa ruled it illegal and the money is now frozen.

Holders of the restructured bonds have asked Griesa to allow the intermediary bank to release the money, and Capitanich criticized the judge for not acting on those requests.

“His lack of decision clearly comes from not understanding ... Argentina's status as a sovereign country,” Capitanich said.

Argentine economics minister Axel Kicillof continued Argentina's defiance by posting a picture on his Facebook page of a vulture with “U.S.A.” on its shirt, with the words “greed” and “cruelty”.

[Abridged from teleSUR English.]

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