Argentina loses bid to oust debt dispute mediator

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A woman walks by a graffiti that reads in Spanish "homeland or vultures", in reference to the dispute between the Argentine government and a U.S. hedge fund, known locally as "vulture funds," in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday, Augsut 4, 2014. The collapse of talks with U.S. creditors sent Argentina into its second debt default in 13 years and raised questions about what comes next for financial markets and the South American nation's staggering economy. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — A U.S. judge has denied a request from Argentina's government to remove the mediator in the dispute with creditors that triggered a default by the country last week.

Argentina has been critical of court-appointed mediator Daniel Pollack. The government says he has not been impartial. The government's lawyer has said a statement Pollack issued after the breakdown of talks July 30 undermined Argentina's position in international markets.

U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Griesa disagreed in a ruling Monday. The judge says Pollack has shown "great skill" and removing him would be a "gross injustice."

Argentina defaulted July 30 for the second time in 13 years after Griesa blocked the country from making interest payments to some bondholders until it settles with holdout creditors.