The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Sunday, February 15, 2004

The Argentinian debt crisis: a little background in a calm tone

For a place of first resort for news on Argentina, La Nación does pretty well [1].

The briefest of skims suggests that the rank populism of President Kirchner is treated as one of Kipling's impostors. And the genuine problem of the debt gets looked at in way to suggest that there are people one can do business with in Argentina - even if the rabble-rouser in the Casa Rosada is not one of them.

For instance, today we have a survey of opinion on the issue amongst experts in the US and Spain. And more comment from Washington.

The Kirchner government is still sticking by the offer it made in Dubai [that seems to be how it's identified] to pay just 25% of the principal owed and none of the accumulated unpaid interest. There seems general agreement that that offer is not a basis for negotiation.

Having marched his Fred Karno's Army up the hill, the Grand Old Duke of York has to persuade them to return whence they came.

As I understand it, the talk is that the number that might be acceptable to the bulk of creditors is between 50% and 60% of the total sum due (ie, including the arrears of interest) - compared with the 10% that the Dubai offer represents.

What I currently have no feel for is just how feasible politically the climb-down is going to be. An editorial in the paper says
el Ministerio de Economía estaría analizando alternativas a la propuesta de pago formulada por el país en Dubai, en septiembre pasado.

That, I think, is the conditional of reportage [2], as known in French. In other words, it's not saying that the Ministry should be analysing alternatives, but that they probably are doing so.

  1. It also is rendered much better by Firefox than by IE6, by the way.

  2. I'm not sure what the technical term is. In French, a verb in the conditional is used in newspapers for assertions which the paper is not prepared fully to stand behind, but nevertheless are given sufficient credibility to be reported. I believe that, in Spanish, the usage is viewed by many as an unwelcome Gallicism.

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