Blow to Argentina debt plan

ARGENTINA - The prospects of Argentina defaulting on its overseas debt have grown after opposition-led provinces voted against a new austerity plan.

The spending cuts are vital if the country is to get $3bn from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to back its hopes for a debt swap and buy more time to repair its economy.

Argentina's President Fernando de la Rua had persuaded governors from his own governing Alliance of parties to sign up to the deal.

But the opposition Peronist governors sai