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By Richard Lough, Eliana Raszewski and Daniel Bases BUENOS AIRES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Argentina failed to strike a deal to avert its second default in more than 12 years after talks with holdout creditors ended without a settlement on Wednesday. The country's economy minister, Axel Kicillof, speaking at a news conference at the Argentine consulate in New York, repeatedly referred to the holdout hedge funds as "vultures" after two days of talks failed to produce an agreement. "Unfortunately, no agreement was reached and the Republic of Argentina will imminently be in default," Daniel Pollack, the court-appointed mediator in the case, said in a statement on Wednesday evening. Kicillof said Argentina offered the holdouts similar terms as other creditors who recently negotiated with the country as it attempts to regain the good graces of international capital markets that it has been frozen out of since its default.