The Spanish government, which has a vested interest in YPF, has warned Argentina against nationalising the company and threatened to use “all its might” to defend Spanish interests.
After a Cabinet meeting, it was announced by the Spanish Deputy Prime Minister, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria that, “If a (nationalisation) decision were taken it would be very negative for Spanish interests and the duty of this government is to defend Spain’s interests with all its might … If the government had to take measures it would, without a doubt.” Spain’s position has the backing of the EU.
There has been a great deal of speculation in recent weeks over whether or not the Argentinian government would nationalise YPF. Spanish company Repsol has a 57.4% stake in the company and so would have been heavily impacted by the Argentinian government’s plan to take control of a 50.1% stake in the company.
The proposed move by the Argentine government also faced strong domestic opposition, much of which cited the damage that the international opposition would cause to the country’s foreign policy.
Argentina’s President Kirchner was expected to announce some form of stake acquisition in a broadcast last week, but avoided the subject and focused on policies covering chocolate, tea and beef instead.
In the midst of such extensive opposition, the Argentine government is likely taking stock and contemplating its options. Some analysts have suggested that the government might now try to take a smaller stake in the company of around 30%.
Edited from various sources by David Bizley
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