Argentina says it will pay off next year's debt

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- The head of President Cristina Fernandez's Cabinet says Argentina will meet next year's debt obligations.

International investors have expressed concern that slowing tax income could narrow Argentina's budget surplus and delay payments.

But Sergio Massa says Argentina has made a "clear decision" to pay off around $12 billion in debt that matures next year.

He says Argentina will continue to accumulate international reserves, which now stand at some $47 billion.

He restated plans Monday to use the reserves to pay off a $6.7 billion debt to the Paris Club of lending nations.

Argentina defaulted on $95 billion in debt in 2001 -- the largest in history.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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