* Economy minister reiterates won’t pay holdout creditors
* US court ruled in favor of those creditors
BUENOS AIRES, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Argentina will not pay creditors who own defaulted bonds despite a U.S. federal appeals court ruling in favor of the holdout creditors, the economy minister was quoted as saying in an interview published on Sunday.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York last month ruled that Argentina discriminated against bondholders who refused to take part in two debt restructurings as the nation tried to recover from a $100 billion default a decade ago. The decision upheld a ruling by U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa.
The South American country appealed that ruling, and on Friday told Griesa that sovereign debt repayments made outside the United States are immune to U.S. law and seizures by holdout bondholders.
“Argentina is responsible and will fulfill all commitment it has made to its creditors. ... Our creditors are all those who participated in the two restructuring proposals in 2005 and 2010,” economy minister Hernan Lorenzino told newspaper Pagina 12.
“We’re going to continue to oppose any alternative that goes beyond that. We’re going to continue presenting and defending our position to each legal entity.”
The judge is expected to give a speedy response, given that Argentina is due to start making $3.3 billion worth of payments to exchange bondholders starting Dec. 2.
Argentina and holdout bondholders that refused to join massive debt swaps in 2005 and 2010 are in a long-running battle over payment, an outgrowth of the country’s roughly $100 billion default nearly 11 years ago.
“Argentina reiterated to judge Griesa that the decision taken about pari passu (equal treatment) cannot prejudice creditors who entered the debt swaps,” Lorenzino was quoted as saying.
Last month’s ruling sparked fears that U.S. courts could ultimately inhibit debt payments to creditors who accepted terms of the restructuring, out of consideration for investors who rejected Argentina’s terms at the time.
“We’re going to continue our legal defense in all areas possible, including in the United States’ Supreme Court,” Lorenzino added.