Argentines prepare for possible default as the debt deal deadline approaches. Vanessa Johnston reports.
This man may hold the key to Argentina's future. Mediator Daniel Pollack is leading last minute talks to avert a debt default that could seriously hurt its economy NATS -- "We should know today" But observers say, hopes for a deal are fading fast. New York hedge funds who own Argentine bonds are demanding repayment of their debt by a deadline set for Wedneday. If a deal can't be reached, Argentina will default for the second time in 12 years. (pause) In Buenos Aires, Argentines are bracing themselves. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ANTONIO LENCINA, BUILDING CARETAKER, SAYING: "The default is going to happen but for some time now strange things have been happening to us…the economy isn't doing well and as such we don't have much money." (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) RUBEN MENYULU, VENDOR, SAYING: "Things are not going to be the same or better. The times that Argentina has defaulted it has been particularly hard on us. I don't have any hope that this will get better." The bad memories left by economic crash of 2001 still linger. This time around the impact is not expected to be as severe. But a default would hurt a domestic economy already in recession and battling soaring inflation.