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Everyone In Argentina Realizes It Needs To Pay Paul Singer

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Everyone, that is, except for President Cristina Fernandez Kirchner, for now.

As Argentina struggles with a poor economy and the risk of default, a consensus has emerged among Argentines, business groups and ruling-party lawmakers that the government should settle a $1.5 billion debt with holdout bondholders—and do so soon….

"The solution is to reach an agreement, and an agreement obviously means paying," Daniel Scioli, governor of Buenos Aires province and a leading figure in Mrs. Kirchner's Peronist movement, said in a recent televised interview.

For years, Mrs. Kirchner vowed never to pay the investors she calls "vulture funds"—hedge funds led by Elliott Management Corp. and Aurelius Capital Management LP, which snapped up defaulted bonds on the cheap in hopes of getting paid full face value….

"If the government doesn't reach a deal with holdouts, its legacy falls apart," said Nicolas Solari, a political analyst. "The government took over during a profound debt and default crisis a decade ago and always bragged about solving those problems. Now it would risk leaving power in the middle of another default and economic crisis…."

"We can't let this situation go on for very long," said Eduardo Buzzi, head of the Argentine Agrarian Federation, a leading farm group representing small-scale farms nationwide. "One way or another, we have to normalize this situation. It puts the economy at risk. If the country defaults, it will raise financing costs and raise uncertainty about the exchange rate…."

"The problem is relevant for ordinary Argentines because it affects our cost of living," said Mr. Larreategui. "If they don't solve this issue, inflation could get worse."

Argentine Consensus Emerges: Pay Off Debt [WSJ]


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