Responding to the May 4 attempt by multi-billionaire financial predator Paul Singer’s NML Capital vulture fund to freeze EU 52,000 in a bank account belonging to the Argentine Mission to the EU in Brussels, Argentine Finance Minister Axel Kicillof described the move as a pathetic publicity stunt by the "detestable and repugnant" vultures.
Despite having spent millions in attack ads against Argentina, and having a cozy relationship with New York Federal Judge Thomas Griesa, the vultures have gotten nothing of the $1.6 billion they hoped to extort from Argentina, Kicillof underscored. "We haven’t paid and we won’t pay them," he told Radio Del Plata.
"Nor will we get down on our knees and [submit] to their pressures." The choice of Belgium was a huge blunder on NML’s part, he continued. Belgium already has strong legislation restricting vulture fund activities, and a bill that will further limit their reach is currently before Parliament. Belgium’s Cassation Court has ruled that diplomatic assets cannot be seized.
It was also in Belgium that Agora Erasmus, the LaRouche movement affiliate, issued a call in September of last year under the title "Belgians and Argentines United in Their Fight against the Vulture Funds." The call was signed by two Members of the European Parliament, five members of the Belgian House of Representatives, and one Senator, as well as Guy-Patrice Lumumba, son of the Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba who was assassinated in 1961 during the Cold War on orders from Allen Dulles. "We the undersigned condemn these [vulture] practices and express our warm solidarity with the Argentine people in their struggle for justice," the statement read.
In an interview published today in the daily Pagina 12, Belgian Socialist Party Deputy Ahmed Laaouej described the vulture assault on Argentina as a "real financial scandal." NML’s "immoral and indecent" move against Argentina in Brussels, "show the relevance" of the bill that will be debated this month in the Parliament’s Finance Commission, Laaouej said, whose purpose is to "regulate and limit legal suits by these funds." He pointed out that it has the backing not only of all political parties, but also of civil society.
This degree of support "is quite an exceptional fact," he stressed, "and shows the desire to counteract these types of financial practices." The bill, which Laaouej expects to be passed in June, "grants new weapons to Belgium’s justice system, in order to better fight against the immoral practices of the vultures," he added, particularly emphasizing these predators’ role in disrupting the "collective processes of debt restructuring of highly-indebted countries."