Friday, June 20, 2014

Argentine priests group faults U.S. court ruling on the country's debt

Religión Digital (English translation by Rebel Girl)
June 19, 2014

About the recent decision of the Supreme Court of the United States requiring Argentina to pay the "usurious and impossible" debt to the vulture funds, Curas en la Opción por los Pobres ["Priests in the Option for the Poor"] warns that this ruling pushes the country "to the point where it's no longer enough to meet the payments that were agreed upon with 92% of creditors. It's not enough for them. They want everything!"

"They also want our sovereignty, and as Christians and Argentinians we can't accept it," they stressed in a press release.

They also said that paying what the creditors are demanding "would jeopardize jobs, health, education and pensions."



Noting that "the serious problem here is not only the speculative greed of the vulture funds but that their actions have been perfectly legal," they added. "That something is legal does not necessarily imply that it is morally acceptable. It is not morally acceptable for a country to pay its debts with conditions that condemn it to bankruptcy and destitution."

The priests' group recalled that Pope Francis recently stated that "big world economies sacrifice man at the feet of the idol of money," so that "it's impossible to go on tolerating financial markets determining the fate of the people."

"The basic problem is the liberal capitalist system that rewards speculators and condemns those who work, that puts in place immoral laws squeezed thoroughly by the usury experts," it added.

The Catholic priests argued that "what is at stake in this dramatic bid is who rules the world -- the countries and their democratic governments or the markets with their money?" So they denounced "this sin that cries to heaven knowing that it will make our people suffer, especially the poor, and so many who see in our country a mirror of their future."

They also supported "the decision of the Argentinian government to pay its debts without compromising the country's growth and the inclusion and expansion of rights for the poorest and weakest."

Finally, the group rejected "as out of place the brilliant advice of many journalists, politicians and economists complicit in this fraudulent debt from the '76 dictatorship until the end of the 90s" and said it hopes there will soon be "a word from our pastors, too long awaited, knowing that God has placed the life of His people on them."

Full text of the letter:

Against the brutal greed of foreign creditors

To public opinion and our communities:

With regard to the recent decision of the New York Court that forces our country to pay a debt -- one that had been restructured and begun to be paid off -- in a usurious and impossible way to the vulture funds, we Curas en la Opción por los Pobres want to say a word to our communities.

The so-called "vulture funds" didn't make any investments in our country, they have brought nothing to our soil, and they're demanding bonds they bought at a shabby price when the nation was already bankrupt. If Argentina were to pay in this way this debt that was incurred in earlier infamous times, it would jeopardize the jobs of our parents and brothers and sisters, the health of the most fragile populations, the level of education reached by our historically excluded children and youth, and the pensions of our grandparents who so concern our people. All that has been rightfully achieved with great effort in recent years would go up in smoke.

This ruling pushes us to the point where it's no longer enough to meet the payments that were agreed upon with 92% of creditors. It's not enough for them. They want everything! They also want our sovereignty, and as Christians and Argentinians we can't accept it.

It should be pointed out that the serious problem here is not only the speculative greed of the vulture funds but that their actions have been perfectly legal. That something is legal does not necessarily imply that it is morally acceptable. It is not morally acceptable for a country to pay its debts with conditions that condemn it to bankruptcy and destitution. As Pope Francis has specifically stated recently, "big world economies sacrifice man at the feet of the idol of money," so that "it's impossible to go on tolerating financial markets determining the fate of the people." The basic problem is the liberal capitalist system that rewards speculators and condemns those who work, that puts in place immoral laws squeezed thoroughly by the usury experts.

We think that what is at stake in this dramatic bid is who rules the world -- the countries and their democratic governments or the markets with their money?

So we denounce this sin that cries to heaven knowing that it will make our people suffer, especially the poor, and so many who see in our country a mirror of their future.

We support the decision of the Argentinian government to pay its debts without compromising the country's growth and the inclusion and expansion of rights for the poorest and weakest.

We reject as out of place the brilliant advice of many journalists, politicians and economists complicit in this fraudulent debt from the '76 dictatorship until the end of the '90s.

And we look forward soon to a word from our pastors, too long awaited, knowing that God has placed the life of His people on them.

Grupo de Curas en la Opción por los Pobres
June 2014

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