25 April 2012 23:57 [Source: ICIS news]
BUENOS AIRES (ICIS)--The Argentine Senate on Wednesday geared up for a vote on a measure for the government to take over 51% of the stock of Spanish-owned oil firm YPF.
Argentina President Christina Fernandez was seeking the seizure of the controlling interest in YPF from Spain-based energy company Repsol. Her government has complained that YPF was not doing enough to develop energy resources in Argentina.
Thirty-five legislators were scheduled to speak on the issue on Wednesday. It was anticipated the Senate would approve the measure and send it to a vote in the Argentina House.
Marcelo Fuentes a senator with the Fernandez‘s majority Frente para la Victoria (FPV) party, said, “"The project is not a capricious or isolated act. It is a logical corollary, deriving from the urgent need to achieve the energetic reversion of the paradigms that characterised the times of neo-liberal pre–eminence.”
He said the measure would guarantee the supply of oil as a strategic resource for Argentina, and was “necessary to control the drainage of our currency”.
The Union Civica Radical (UCR) party said it would support the move but also proposed an alternative measure to gain control of YPF through negotiations.
Senator Gerardo Morales of the UCR party said, “The expropriation is not the solution to the problem but the beginning to resolve the bigger issue of the energy crisis.”
Morales said the government was responsible for the country’s energy shortfalls, adding, “What little was done on the matter, has been done erratically”. But he added that the “state has s sovereign rights for the expropriation and there are reasons to do it”.
The UCR also called for the creation of a Federal Hydrocarbon Agency to regulate oil prices.
By Paula Krizanvic
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