• Vote in favor is one of final steps needed to end debt saga
  • Macri trying to return to credit markets to close deficit

Argentina’s Senate voted in favor of a bill that seeks to end a 15-year dispute with holdout creditors from the nation’s default in 2001, bringing the nation one step closer to a return to international credit markets.

Senators voted 54 for and 16 against to support a package of measures that call for the repealing of two laws that prevent the government from paying some creditors.

President Mauricio Macri, who assumed office in December, is trying to bring an end to a dispute that has left Argentina isolated financially, starving the nation of foreign currency as it posted the largest fiscal deficit in 20 years.

The default on $95 billion of debt in 2001 was at the time the biggest in history. A court ruling last year that Argentina couldn’t pay other bond holders before the holdouts sparked a second default.

Any solution still runs the risk of derailment if an appeals court hearing scheduled for April 13, one day before the agreed deadline to pay the litigators, decides to reverse a court decision to lift the injunctions that prevent Argentina from paying some of its other creditors. A clause in the bill stipulates the injunctions must be lifted before Argentina can make the payments.

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