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Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner speaks to supporters from a balcony inside the Casa Rosada Presidential Palace in Buenos Aires, July 31, 2014. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

(reuters_tickers)

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina's government will use an anti-terrorism law for the first time to seek criminal charges against a U.S.-based international printing firm which closed its Argentine plant without warning, the president said on Thursday.

Several hundred workers were left jobless when RR Donnelly abruptly filed for bankruptcy and shut down its printing presses on the outskirts of the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires.

"We are facing a real case of fraudulent behaviour and an attempt to intimidate the population," Cristina Fernandez, the South American country's populist leader, said in a speech at Government House.

There was no immediate reaction from the company on its website.

Fernandez said the printing firm had ties to foreign investors whose decade-long debt battle against Argentina in the U.S. courts led Argentina to default on its debt last month for the second time in 12 years.

Argentina enacted its anti-terrorism law in 2011 but has not applied it until now.

(Reporting by Nicolas Misculin; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Paul Tait)

Reuters