Argentina President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (L)
Buenos Aires - AFP
The Argentine presidential candidate backed by incumbent Cristina Kirchner would negotiate with hedge funds over bond payments ordered by a US court, an advisor said Wednesday.
Daniel Scioli, who is lagging in polls to his rival Mauricio Macri ahead of the November 22 runoff vote, believes in the need to "negotiate in good faith," said Gustavo Marangoni, one of his chief advisors.
"But what is clear is that for this, it is like a tango: to dance you need two."
Both Kirchner and the hedge funds, which are demanding full payment on long-defaulted bonds they hold, have said the other side refuses to negotiate a compromise in the long-running battle.
The hedge funds, which Argentina has branded "vultures," refused to join 93 percent of the country's creditors in a restructuring of around $100 billion in debt defaulted on in 2001.
They and other "holdouts" have won US court support to recover 100 percent of the face value of their bonds, which Argentina rejects as unfair to the other creditors, which accepted sharp reductions in the value of their bonds to help the country rebuild its finances.
The years of stalemate have tightly limited the country's ability to borrow on international markets. And the US court has been able to block payments to holders of the restructured debt, saying Argentina must pay the hedge funds and a group of other holdout bondholders first.
Marangoni said in a press conference with international media in Buenos Aires that the holdouts "also must show their willingness" to deal.
"An agreement will give us access to credit and create a virtuous circle with investors that the country needs."
On Tuesday, Macri told media he would end the country's long debt battle if he wins the runoff vote.
However, he said: "I continue to have hope that the government, which created this problem, very poorly negotiating our debt, resolves it before they step down" on December 10.
"To reconnect with the world, we have to begin closing all of the trouble spots that we have," he said.