The President Of Argentina Took A Convoluted Way To Visit The Pope So Her Plane Wouldn't Be Impounded By Hedge Fund Managers

bergoglio pope francis with Cristina Fernández de Kirchner

Newly minted Pope Francis is Argentine, and though he and the country’s socially liberal President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner have had their differences, she went to see him in Rome on his first days.

That sounds pretty standard, but it’s the way she got to their visit that’s strange.

Instead of flying the state plane to Rome, Fernandez de Kirchner stopped off in Morocco, dropped off her jet, and then boarded a commercial flight to Italy, Argentine site ABC Sociedad reports.

She didn’t want any problems.

Last October, a group of hedge fund managers got a Ghanaian Court to sign an order impounding an Argentine warship (La Libertad) in a Ghanaian harbor.

The most high profile member of that group is billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer. He and other “holdouts” have been locked in a legal battle with Argentina over $1 billion that they say the country owes them after a 2001 investment in Argentine sovereign debt.

Argentina refuses to pay Singer and co. because other investors restructured their debt twice. Politicians say the holdouts are “vulture capitalists.”

Overall this legal battle still isn’t over, but when La Libertad was stuck in Ghana, it took two months and some intercession by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to get the boat back home.

The last thing Fernandez de Kirchner needs is for something like that to happen to her own plane.

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