WASHINGTON Oct 7 Argentina's finance minister
criticized on Friday a deal the previous government made with
the Paris Club of creditor nations and said the repayment
schedule may need to be extended.
Former President Cristina Fernandez's government reached an
agreement in 2014 to clear around $9.7 billion of arrears over
the next five years, a deal analysts praised at the time and
said could help Argentina emerge from a record default.
Since then, Argentina elected market-friendly President
Mauricio Macri and in April settled a legal dispute with
hold-out creditors who had refused to accept the terms of debt
restructurings related to a massive 2002 default, issuing $16.5
billion in debt to pay them. Fernandez called the hold-out
Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay told journalists in
Washington the Paris Club had not done much to help Argentina
rejoin the global financial system.
"The previous government paid a fortune to get up to speed
with the Paris Club and got absolutely nothing in return," he
Prat-Gay, who was attending International Monetary Fund
meetings, said Argentina had paid $1.6 billion to the Paris Club
this year to respect the agreement, but lamented the Club had
done nothing to help raise Argentina's credit rating.
"It seems that at the minimum the rating has to improve and
tomorrow we are ready to discuss longer terms, because the truth
is that having to go to the market to repay the Paris Club is
exactly the opposite philosophy of the Paris Club," he said.
Moody's rating service upgraded Argentina's credit rating to
B3 with a stable outlook from Caa1 in April, days before the
country's return to the bond market for the first time in 15
years. The rating is still six notches below investment grade.
(Reporting by Christian Plumb; Additional reporting by
Maximiliano Rizzi; Writing by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by