Argentina gets international support after oil company expropriation

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April 17, 2012

Montevideo, Apr 17 (Prensa Latina) The Government of Argentina and President Cristina Fernandez have got expressions of international support in the past few hours in the wake of her decision to take a controlling interest in the oil company YPF, a subsidiary of the Spanish firm Repsol.

After the decision was made public, President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez welcomed and backed the initiative of his Argentine counterpart to take a 51 percent stake of YPF.

The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry issued a communiqué in which Chavez “welcomes and backs Fernandez decision” which caused a huge stir and strong criticism in Spain and in the European community.

Chavez rejected the threats made “from Europe against the Republic of Argentina” and urged governments in the continent to back Buenos Aires in “the exercise of its sovereign rights.”

The Argentine president announced on Monday a bill -under discussion as of today in the Argentinian Senate- seeking to expropriate YPF, arguing that the lack of investment by it, is prompting the country to import fuel.

The government of Caracas offered Argentina the operational and legal capacities of state-run PDEVESA “to strengthen the public oil sector and consolidate its energy sovereignty.”

In Bolivia, President Evo Morales backed his counterpart’s decision and said it is “Argentina and Spain’s business” that it represents no problem for Bolivia.

He asked for applause to President Fernandez actions and recalled that the nationalization of hydrocarbons decreed by his country in 2006 contributed to a higher growth in Bolivia’s economy.

Meanwhile, Mining and Energy Minister of Brazil, Edison Lobao, said on Tuesday before the Senate that “every country has its own sovereignty and the right to make its own decisions.”

He ruled out any concern regarding the Argentinian government decision and defended the sovereign right of that government to decide on its hydrocarbon policy.

Lobao ruled out that any fundamental problem may arise in relation to Argentina and its likely conduct about the Brazilian firm Petrobras in that country, where it has 79 gas stations.

Petrobras is the third oil producing firm in Argentina, with six percent, after Repsol-YPF with 41 percent and Panamerican Energy, with 17 percent.

Source

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