Debt row: Argentina calls US District Judge Griesa 'imperialist'

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Debt row: Argentina calls US District Judge Griesa 'imperialist'

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Argentina has hit back at US District Judge Thomas Griesa after he said the country’s new debt restructuring plan was illegal.

Griesa said measures announced by Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández violate rulings by his court, but he stopped short of holding the country in contempt of court.

Responding Argentina’s Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich called the judge’s choice of words “unfortunate, incorrect and even, I would say, imperialist expressions”.

Argentina’s economy ministry said the veteran judge’s remarks showed a “complete ignorance of the functioning of democratic institutions”.

Argentina is determined not to pay billions to US investment funds that bought government bonds for vastly less than their face value; Judge Griesa insists Buenos Aires has to pay.

As the war of words goes on, analysts said a agreement between Argentina and the funds who rejected large writedowns in the wake of the country’s 2002 default is now unlikely before next year’s election, in which President Cristina Fernandez cannot run.

The country continues to pay a heavy economic price. The peso has shed 5.2 percent since the tough-talking Fernandez unveiled the draft bill late on Tuesday.

That is the currency’s fastest fall since January, plumbing a new record low of 14 per dollar on the black market on Thursday.

with Reuters