EU must stand with Britain and Spain against Argentina
Posted, April 17, 2012 @ 17:00
The UK and EU should commit themselves to urgent and robust support for Spain over Argentina's unilateral take-over of a Spanish-run oil company said to be worth more than £20 billion, Conservative MEP Charles Tannock said today.
The London MEP, Conservative spokesman on foreign affairs in the European Parliament, described the move by Buenos Aires as "aggressive and rapacious".
According to the Bloomberg news agency, Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has replaced the chief executive officer of oil firm YPF -- the country's biggest firm -- and said she would send a bill to congress to take a 51 percent stake in the company. Spanish oil firm Repsol is the major shareholder in the company.
The Madrid government has vowed to take "clear and decisive" measures against the privatisation.
Mr Tannock said: "There is a deeply troubling pattern emerging to Argentina's actions over oil. Whenever President Kirchner sees the possibility of hi-jacking a source, respect for international law comes a poor second best.
"After oil was discovered off the Falklands, she suddenly revived the Argentine claim to the islands.
"Now she finds YPF's oil riches an irresistible allure, and the inconvenient fact that another country owns the company is pushed to one side.
"Both actions are crude attempt to deflect the attention of her people from the country's economic woes by pursuing populist causes and wrapping herself in the Argentine flag.
"The UK and Spain have a common cause against Buenos Aires in this regard. We should support one another - and the EU must show solidarity with both member states in facing down these aggressive acts. Argentina is in the wrong - morally and legally - and this must not stand."