Argentine Central Bank accounts frozen in US

January 13th, 2010 - 6:48 am ICT by IANS  

Buenos Aires, Jan 13 (DPA) A US judge Tuesday froze accounts at the US Federal Reserve belonging to the Argentine Central Bank, officials in Buenos Aires said.
Argentine Finance Minister Amado Boudou told a press conference in Buenos Aires that New York federal judge Thomas Griesa was responding to the claims of holders of debt titles that Argentina defaulted on in 2002 who refused to reprogramme debt payments in 2005.

He said that $1.7 million were affected by the freeze, although the figure could eventually be “at most” as high as $15 million.

“Vulture funds want the country to keep taking on expensive debt, and it would seem that they also have offices and representatives in Buenos Aires,” Boudou complained.

US court sources refused to comment on the issue.

Last week, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner sacked central bank president Martin Redrado, increasing the stakes in a power struggle over use of the country’s foreign currency reserves to pay off state debt.

On Wednesday, centre-left Fernandez de Kirchner demanded Redrado’s resignation after he refused to allow the government to use $6.57 billion of foreign currency reserves to help cover state debt payments due in 2010.

However, Redrado refused to step down, and a judge eventually ordered his reinstatement.

Argentina currently holds $48 billion in foreign exchange reserves.

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