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Argentina Goes for Showdown on the Debt: Lays Responsibility on Obama’s Doorstep for Consequences of U.S. Court Actions

June 26, 2014 (EIRNS)—In a sharply-worded press release issued this afternoon under the headline "Argentina Pays," and read to the media by Finance Minister Axel Kicillof, the Argentine Presidency threw down the gauntlet in its battle with the Empire’s financial predators. It points directly to the Obama administration as the party responsible for the consequences "of the decisions of its judiciary"—both Federal Judge Thomas Griesa and the U.S. Supreme Court—hitting the U.S. President at a time when his head is on the chopping block.

Argentina is standing its ground on the issue of national sovereignty, stating unequivocally that a tiny grouping of financial speculators cannot "strike down the collective effort of the Argentine nation and people." Judge Griesa’s absurd attempt to drive Argentina into "technical default" is nothing more than "a sophisticated means of forcing us onto our knees before global usurers," it warns. It also implies that it is prepared to take legal action in the future, although nothing is spelled out. At the time the announcement was read, Judge Griesa had not replied to Argentina’s request for a stay on his initial ruling stating that the government had to give "equal treatment" to the vultures and the holders of the restructured debt, but he did so one hour after the release was made public, denying the stay with one sentence: "it is not appropriate."

The Presidency has directly challenged Griesa’s insane ruling by announcing that it had proceeded to pay the $832 million due on June 30 to pay bondholders holding the restructured debt, including deposits totaling $539 million in the Bank of New York-Mellon’s accounts in the Argentine Central Bank—BONY is its trustee for payment to bondholders. The decision to do this is a "sovereign decision by the Argentine Republic," the press release reads, ratifying "its firm and resolute will to comply, to honor its debts, and to rule out any implied introduction of the ‘technical default’ euphemism." This is just "a sophisticated way of trying to force us to our knees before usurers that are global in nature," the statement charged.

Billionaire Paul Singer’s NML vulture fund immediately went berserk, demanding that Judge Griesa hold Argentina in contempt for trying to pay the bondholders, but not the vultures. Griesa called a meeting of the lawyers for both sides for 10:00 am. on June 27.

Not only did the Argentine release assert that the United States—i.e., the U.S. President—bear "international responsibility for the decisions of its judiciary...the financial entities involved, the litigants, and Judge Thomas Griesa himself;" it also reminded Obama that the rulings of Griesa’s court "violate the principle of sovereign immunity in existence in that country [the U.S.] as a superior institutional norm." Abiding by the court’s ruling "cannot demand non-compliance with obligations assumed" by Argentina, the Presidency warns.