Washington DC - In less than three weeks, Argentina and it's creditors must reach a deal on restructuring the South American country's $70 billion debt or risk default. Last week, Argentina offered a proposal to creditors that was rejected by enough debt holders to thwart the plan.
"Argentina was running out of money to pay debt before the coronavirus struck," stated Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte. LeCompte's group monitored Argentina debt since the early 2000s. Then in 2014, Jubilee USA filed to the US Supreme Court when Argentina's last debt crisis faced US Court arbitration. "As the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus worsen, Argentina's ability to pay debt becomes more uncertain."
On Wednesday Argentina missed a $500 million debt payment which set in motion a possible default by the end of May if Argentina and it's creditors cannot reach a new debt agreement. Argentina's proposed debt plan represents a more than 60% cut on the country's debt payments and some investors say the country can pay more and offer better terms.
"In light of the coronavirus and the suffering of Argentina's people, the initial plan is reasonable," said LeCompte, who serves on United Nations debt expert groups. "Vulnerable and poor people are the ones who suffer most because of the country's economic woes."
Argentina's efforts to surmount recent debt challenges are supported by the International Monetary Fund, G20 leaders and Pope Francis.