Argentina on Monday asked US Judge Loretta Preska, who hearing a case regarding the 2012 nationalisation of state energy firm YPF in a New York court, to extend a deadline to cough up cash until after Javier Milei's inauguration.
The Argentine state has been ordered to pay US$16.1 billion to two firms who filed suit against the government. Legal representatives for Argentina have now requested Preska push back a deadline for paying a deposit and preventing any seizures until "at least” January 10, 2024.
On November 21, the judge gave set a deadline of December 5, 2023, for a deposit to be paid for the case regarding the company’s nationalisation in 2012. Milei is due to take office on December 10, five days later.
In a document addressed to the judge on Monday, the attorney for the Argentine State, Robert J. Giuffra, asks for a new date “no sooner than January 10." The delay would allow Javier Milei’s government to “assess the conditions established in the court order dated November 21, 2023,” reads the plea.
The plaintiffs, according to Giuffra, object to any extensión unless Argentina “first accepts a fast-track appeal calendar” – one of the conditions in the judge’s order.
Preska sentenced Argentina to pay US$16.099 billion to the two firms, Petersen (US$14.385 billion) and Eton Park (US$1.714 billion), shareholders of YPF which were not compensated after the oil company was nationalised, when it was controlled by Spanish company Repsol.
The government of Alberto Fernández appealed the demand by plaintiffs that Argentina deposit the amount as security while the appeal is resolved, claiming that said disbursement would cause “irreparable damage” given the difficult economic situation facing the country.
The judge then gave a deadline until December 5 for “the Argentine Republic to commit to the plaintiffs’ shareholdings in YPF” as security to prevent any seizures.
Milei has promised to re-privatise 51 percent of YPF stock owned by the Argentine State.