Argentina officials arrive for debt deadline talks

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — Argentina's finance secretary has come to New York to join talks aimed at avoiding that country's second default in 13 years.

Finance Secretary Pablo Lopez arrived Tuesday morning with other representatives of the South American nation to meet with a court-appointed mediator.

A federal judge in New York last week ordered around-the-clock negotiations to avert a Wednesday default deadline. Talks have been sporadic and have failed to bring representatives of Argentina to the table with lawyers for U.S. hedge funds.

The hedge funds are owed about $1.5 billion. Argentina has so far failed to comply with court orders requiring that the hedge funds be paid if the majority of bondholders who swapped their bonds for lower-valued bonds in the last decade are paid.

A mediator told reporters Tuesday that "time is short."