Posted 5 years ago on April 19, 2012, 10:08 p.m. EST by arturo
from Shanghai, Shanghai
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
In a move that has unnerved the City of London, Madrid, and other European capitals, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner announced on April 16 before a jubilant crowd at the Presidential Palace, that to recover her nation's "hydrocarbon sovereignty" and ensure a future of development for her people, she had ordered the expropriation of 51% of the formerly state-owned YPF oil firm, held by the Spanish oil company Repsol.
The remaining 49%, she reported, would be managed by the country's oil-producing provinces. Planning Minister Julio De Vido, a hardline nationalist and nuclear energy advocate who worked with the late President Nestor Kirchner when the latter was governor of Santa Cruz province, has been named as YPF's interim president.
London-based financial predators and their Spanish and Wall Street allies are beside themselves with rage and hysteria (see accompanying slug), outflanked by an Argentine President who is definitely not playing by the rules. She has kicked over the chessboard in an action reminiscent of what President Nestor Kirchner did in 2005 when he boldly announced a debt restructuring that offered creditors a 75% haircut — "take it or leave it."
The re-nationalization is, in a sense, also a flanking action against the provocative British oil grab off the Malvinas Islands. Keep in mind that Repsol is part of the "Spanish" — read, British — imperial recolonization of Ibero-America, which saw mass privatizations in the 1990s of many former state-sector companies, bought on the cheap. YPF, founded in 1922 as the first state-owned oil firm in Ibero-America, was an object of immense national pride for Argentines, a prized tool in the strategy for national industrial development. In an act of treason, President Carlos Menem privatized it in 1993.
Now, Cristina Fernandez has done something you "just don't do," after decades of British/Spanish privatizations. She has declared that energy and oil sovereignty is a "matter of State." This is "not a party or partisan issue," she said, but one related to "a sustainable country, one that has development and growth; it has to do with our own history." There is not a country in the world, she said, that willingly gives up control over resources so strategically vital as oil. Yet until now, Argentina was one of the only Ibero-American nations which did not enjoy such control.
The result? Repsol had "stripped" YPF, failed to invest, produce or explore, using the company, as even the Financial Times admitted today, as a "cash cow" to produce funds that would be invested outside of Argentina. "Had this policy of looting, no production, no exploration continued...we would have become an unviable country, not due to lack of resources, but to business practices" and finance, Fernandez said. She documented that Repsol's "business" model meant that in 2011, for the first time in 17 years, Argentina was forced to import oil and gas, to the tune of $9 billion, despite possessing plentiful resources.
President Fernandez underscored that now, "there is no one owner of YPF. It belongs to all of us. Let's be clear on this. I call on its workers, all those [working] today in the wells...and on all the men and women of responsibility [to understand that] Argentina must keep growing, keep moving, and that each one in his respective battle station [must] help to rebuild this great company for all Argentines." The goal, she said, is "to once again have a company that will be the pride of all Argentines."