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YPF nationalisation sours relations between Spain and Argentina

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YPF nationalisation sours relations between Spain and Argentina


Political outcry in Spain continues after the Argentinean government’s decision to nationalise one of the country’s largest oil producers, YPF – in the process, expropriating shares from Spanish firm Repsol.

Warnings about endangering future foreign investment have been issued to Buenos Aires by Mexico and the European Union.

EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said: “We expect Argentinean authorities to uphold their international commitments and obligations, in particular those resulting from a bilateral agreement on the protection of investments with Spain.”

The Argentine ambassador in Madrid has been summoned to a meeting at the Foreign Ministry.

Spain’s Industry Minister Jose Manuel Soria said there would be “diplomatic, industrial and energy” consequences for Argentina’s actions.

Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo added:
“I think that Argentina just seriously shot itself in the foot. But what worries me the most is that this is going to break or, at least create mistrust, in a relationship that has been very close for a long time.”

The Argentine ambassador in Madrid was also summoned to the foreign ministry on Friday when Argentina’s government was considering taking over Repsol’s YPF shares, but President Cristina Fernandez ignored Spain’s concerns.

“After all the help that Argentina got from Spain, I hope the Spanish government will take measures and do something strong, because I’m tired of seeing how they take us for a ride,” said one angry woman in the Spanish capital.

A sense of outrage is evident on the front pages of Spanish newspapers with headlines including ‘Kirchner’s Dirty War’, referring to Fernandez’s full name, and ‘An Act of Pillage’.

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