U.S. judge orders Argentina, creditors to meet until deal reached

Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:52pm EDT
 
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By Nate Raymond and Joseph Ax

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. judge ordered Argentina and investors who did not participate in the country's past debt restructurings to meet "continuously" with a court-appointed mediator until a settlement is reached, warning of the threat of a new default.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa in New York told Argentina and lawyers for investors who declined to restructure their bonds after the country defaulted on about $100 billion in 2002 that time was running out to reach a deal and avert a fresh default.

"That is about the worst thing I can envision. I don't want that to happen," the judge said.

Jonathan Blackman, a lawyer for Argentina, Latin America's No. 3 economy, said even with around-the-clock talks, it would be "unlikely, if not impossible, to result in settlement."

"It simply can't be done by the end of the month," he said.

Griesa ordered the parties to meet with Daniel Pollack, a New York lawyer appointed to oversee settlement talks, "continuously until a settlement is reached." Pollack scheduled a meeting Wednesday at 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT).

Pollack, who was appointed June 23 as a mediator, has been holding meetings with the parties, publicly acknowledging talking twice with Argentine officials.

The Argentine economy ministry did not respond to requests for comment after the hearing.   Continued...

 
New York financial trial lawyer Daniel Pollack exits the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Lower Manhattan, June 27, 2014.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid