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Facing deadline, Argentina slams US court decision on debt payments

The US Supreme court ruled that Argentina must pay off hedge funds that own bonds left over from its 2001 default. Buenos Aires has spoken out against the decision in a major ad.

Argentina debt default looms

For the second time in a row, Argentina took out paid advertisements in major US newspapers, decrying an American court decision to "bring us down to our knees."

The US Supreme court ruled that Argentina must pay off hedge funds that own bonds left over from the country's default in 2001 by Monday. But Argentine President Christina Fernandez has said the country can't afford to pay the $1.3 billion (952 million euros) to investors while making regular interest payments to other lenders.

Long plagued with debt, the South American country is poised to default for the second time in 13 years, if a payment deal cannot be reached Monday.

Bias in favor of vulture funds

The lengthy ad statement, which appeared in The Washington Post and The New York Times, accused the Supreme Court of "bias in favor of vulture funds," referring to Buenos Aires' term for hedge funds.

“It’s true intentions are crystal clear: to push Argentina into default so as to destroy the 2005-2010 debt restructuring agreement that it reached with 92.4percent of its creditors following lengthy negotiations,” read the ad, which was signed “Presidency of the Argentine Republic.”

"But he will not achieve his goal for quite a simple reason: the Argentine Republic will meet its obligations and pay off its debt and honor its commitments, as it has been doing," it continued.

rs/hg (AP, AFP)

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