NEW YORK, March 18 (Reuters) - Argentina has filed a motion in a U.S. court opposing claims by more than 500 "me-too" creditors seeking payment on debt worth $5.4 billion owed since the country's 2002 default, court documents showed on Wednesday.
These creditors' claims, filed by March 3, are separate from a protracted case in which a small group of U.S. hedge funds pressed for payment on defaulted bonds, now worth $1.33 billion plus accrued interest.
Argentina last year defied the orders of a New York district federal court to pay the hedge funds that amount that amount plus accrued interest. It argued payment would unleash a torrent of claims it could not afford to pay. The country defaulted again on its debt in July.
"As predicted by the Republic, the floodgates have now opened," the motion filed in that court by Argentina read. "Plaintiffs' demand is clear - to increase by over $5.4 billion - the amount that must be paid to them before any restructured debt holder can receive any payment of scheduled interest." (Reporting by Nate Raymond; Writing by Richard Lough)