Argentina's government has hit back at a group of creditors that could force the beleagured country into bankruptcy, saying in an advert published in newspapers across the globe that it would fight their court actions.
The advert denounced a recent court ruling in favour of hedge fund investors and the US Supreme Court's refusal to sit in judgement on the long-running dispute.
Produced by the ministry of foreign affairs, the advert called on the US courts to judge the situation fairly and set a sustainable precedent for other sovereign debt defaults.
"A decision of the US judiciary favourable to 1.6% of the bondholders, who are specialised in litigation, jeopardises a debt restructuring voluntarily accepted by 92.4% of the creditors," it says.
The investors bought Argentine government bonds at a big discount after the country defaulted on its debts in 2001.
Last week the US Supreme Court refused to intervene in a lower court's ruling, effectively deciding that Argentina must pay the funds the full $1.3bn (£766m) value of the debt.
"Paying the vulture funds is a path leading to default," says the advert.
Argentina's president, Cristina Fernandez, who has said Argentina cannot afford to pay in full the hedge funds while also making payments to other lenders, has called the funds "vultures".
Late last week, signs of a possible resolution emerged when Fernandez said she would seek a US judge's support for resolving all of Argentina's unpaid debts in one grand bargain. Economy Minister Axel Kicillof said Fernandez planned to ask District Court Judge Thomas Griesa in New York to impose a stay on debt rulings to allow the country to make payments to creditors of restructured bonds on 30 June.
Her note of conciliation helped lift prices of Argentine bonds. Still, dangers remain. The court ruling said that if Argentina did not give the plaintiffs all the money they were due, it would be refused access to the US banking system to make its other interest payments, which are due on 30 June.
The full-page message was published in the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and appears in the Guardian on Tuesday.
"Argentina wants to carry on paying its debts, as it has been doing since 2005," the advert reads.
"But the country has been prevented by the ruling from judge Thomas Griesa [in August 2013] and the Supreme Court's decision [last week] to refuse to take on the case," it adds.
The rebel investors are led by NML Capital, a subsidiary of Elliot Capital Management, run by billionaire Paul Singer. Singer, a lawyer by training, has in the past successfully sued the governments of Peru and the Republic of the Congo to make good on their bonds.
Other creditors agreed to cut a deal with Argentina in 2005 and again in 2010 by swapping their bonds for new ones worth less. This helped Argentina's government slash its debts. The bonds acquired by Singer's group were among those left over.
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