UPDATE 1-Argentina says U.N. vote vindicates its debt fight against 'vultures'
(Adds quote from debate on debt bill, U.S. court hearing)
By Walter Bianchi and Richard Lough
BUENOS AIRES, Sept 10 (Reuters) - The Argentine government said on Wednesday that its refusal to repay a group of U.S. hedge funds that stand to profit on the country's defaulted debt was vindicated by the United Nations' support for a multilateral plan handling bond restructurings.
The lengthy legal battle between Argentina and the funds that snapped up its bonds on the cheap after its record 2002 default and are suing for 100 cents on the dollar led to the Buenos Aires government defaulting again in July.
Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich's comments came on the same day the lower house of Congress held a marathon debate over a draft law proposing to remodel the country's debt to enable it to skirt U.S. court rulings in support of the hedge funds.
The lower house is expected to vote in favour of the bill in the early hours of Thursday. But the law may not achieve much if legal hurdles and investor scepticism prevent the proposed restructuring measures from being implemented.
President Cristina Fernandez says her country is the victim of "vulture funds" that are prepared to wreck its finances in their pursuit of huge profits. She wants a global framework that would prevent a minority of investors from scuppering debt restructuring agreements.
Prompted by Argentina and its ally Bolivia, the U.N. General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of such a convention.
"If 124 countries in the United Nations support the Republic of Argentina, it means that Argentina is right in its claims," Capitanich told reporters in Buenos Aires. Continuación...