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News Link • Economy - International

Argentina blames US, 'incompetent' judge for default

• http://www.bloomberg.com

The country officially went into default Wednesday night after the failure of 11th-hour talks with two US hedge funds that refused to accept a write-down on their Argentine bonds.

Argentine stocks plummeted Thursday as the repercussions of the default began to set in, and were down 6.45 percent in afternoon trade.

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner's cabinet chief, Jorge Capitanich, blamed the American government for the default, brought on by a US court ruling that blocked Buenos Aires from servicing its restructured debt without also paying the hedge funds in full.

"If there's a judge who's an agent of these speculative funds, if the mediator is their agent, what is this justice you're talking about? There's a responsibility of the state here, of the United States, to create the conditions for the unconditional respect of other countries' sovereignty," he told a press conference in Buenos Aires.

He accused US District Judge Thomas Griesa and court-appointed mediator Dan Pollack of "incompetence" and said Argentina would take the matter to international courts.

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