ATFA Urges Debt Repayment as President Kirchner Visits New York

Sep 21, 2011, 09:00 ET from American Task Force Argentina

Kirchner's Participation in UN General Assembly Must Include Recognition of Outstanding Debts

WASHINGTON, Sept. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner's visits New York for the 66th United Nations General Assembly, American Task Force Argentina (ATFA) calls on the Argentine government to honor its debt obligations to U.S. and worldwide creditors.  Currently, the Argentine government owes $3.5 billion in U.S. claims to creditors who lent in good faith and saw their loans defaulted upon and subsequently illegally repudiated by the Argentine leadership.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110921/DC71652)

"Argentina remains cut off from the international capital markets open to every other country, and will be unable to return, until it satisfies its legal obligations to U.S. and worldwide lenders," said ATFA co-chair Ambassador Nancy Soderberg. "If Argentina in fact has turned the corner on its historic 2001 sovereign debt default, why won't its government abide by arbitral demands to satisfy $3.5 billion in outstanding debt to U.S. lenders? Argentina should listen to its global partners and change course."

In Congress, a bipartisan group of representatives have shown their support for holding Argentina accountable for its actions by co-sponsoring the Judgment Evading Foreign States Accountability Act of 2011, introduced by Representative Connie Mack (R-FL) and Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS). The legislation addresses Argentina's refusal to recognize over 100 U.S. court judgments, as well as numerous decisions in the World Bank's arbitral tribunal in the country's decade-long effort to avoid repaying its creditors from around the world.  

"Argentina persists in defying dozens of judgments issued by U.S. courts as well as the World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes," said ATFA co-chair Dr. Robert Shapiro.  "To evade these judgments – which the Argentine government had specifically pledged to respect when it borrowed the funds – the Kirchner regime has sheltered more than 85 percent of the country's currency reserves at the Bank for International Settlements.  Such elaborate techniques to evade their creditors, as well as a trail of broken promises, protectionist trade policies, irresponsible monetary expansion, and manipulation of GDP and inflation data are all hallmarks of the 'Kirchner Model.'  This approach inflicts enormous costs on the Argentine people and is unbefitting a G-20 partner and one-time leader of Latin America."

Italian bondholders recently conducted a spirited protest outside the Bundeshaus in Bern, Switzerland. The protestors, comprised of pensioners who invested their retirement assets in Argentine bonds, featured several giant cartoon cut-outs of a rat and pig, symbolizing the schemes of the government of President Cristina Kirchner.

Click here to view a photo of the Italian bondholder protest, as displayed this week in New York City's Times Square.

Made up of an alliance of diverse organizations, ATFA's leadership includes Executive Director Robert Raben, a former Assistant Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice, and is co-chaired by The Honorable Robert J. Shapiro, former Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs in the Clinton Administration, and Ambassador Nancy Soderberg, Ambassador at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York from 1997 to 2001.

For additional information on ATFA's activities, please visit www.atfa.org, or contact media@atfa.org, or +1-888-662-2382.

Contact: media@atfa.org
1-888-662-2382

SOURCE American Task Force Argentina