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Argentina, holdouts reach debt accord

Argentina has reached an agreement with so-called vulture funds holding overdue debt bonds, Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay confirmed on Monday.

The agreement concludes drawn legal wrangling in a U.S. court and will allow the government to “regain (access to) credit and trust, both abroad and at home,” the minister said.

Soundbite: Alfonso Prat Gay, Finance Minister of Argentina
“We have reached an agreement with the four toughest, most belligerent funds in this negotiation. With this agreement for the first time, I think for the first time in 15 years, we can say that Argentina is beginning to definitively emerge from the default.”

The agreement, which still has to be approved by Congress, “will affect coming generations and administrations,” said Prat-Gay.

“It took us eight weeks to resolve a matter that went 15 years without a solution,” said Prat-Gay, referring to prior left-wing administrations, whose battle against the vulture funds had dried up loans for Argentina as the global financial community isolated the South American country.

Following Argentina’s default in 2002, vulture or hedge funds bought expired national debt cheap, but then sued to collect the full nominal amount, which amounted to billions of dollars.

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