Argentina lawmakers back deal to repay holdout creditors

GMT 14:01 2016 Wednesday ,16 March

Arab Today, arab today Argentina lawmakers back deal to repay holdout creditors

Argentinians demonstrate against the repaymnet deal to end to its long-standing legal battle against so called 'vulture'
Buenos Aires - AFP

Argentina's chamber of deputies voted early Wednesday to approve a repayment deal with more holdout creditors, as the nation seeks to finally close the door on 15 years of litigation over its defaulted bonds.

The vote in Argentina's lower chamber of Congress, by 165 to 86, came after some 20 hours of debate, marking a first legislative triumph for the young administration of President Mauricio Macri.

The bill now goes to the Senate where it likely faces stiffer opposition, political observers said.

Macri's government needs the Congress to lift legal blocks instituted under the previous government on repaying the so-called vulture creditors with which Buenos Aires has been fighting in a US court for years.

After refusing to pay for years, in February the government offered $6.5 billion to resolve their claims of $9 billion.

The holdouts are the minority of creditors which refused to go along with the restructuring of the country's debt after it defaulted on nearly $100 billion in 2001.

The main holdouts were hedge funds which bought up the defaulted debt at steep discounts, aiming to recover the full value, and in 2012 the New York federal district court ruled in their favor.

Since then, the country has been mostly locked out of global capital markets and Macri, tasked with reviving the Argentine economy, has vowed to pay off the creditors and move forward.

If the Congress does remove the legal barriers to payment, the judge in the US case, Thomas Griesa, has agreed to lift an injunction that effectively prohibits Argentina from borrowing the new money necessary to clear out the old claims.


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