Argentina fines French water and energy firms

12th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

BUENOS AIRES, Jan 11 (AFP) - The Argentine government announced Tuesday it would fine water and power suppliers, including French-owned concession holders.

BUENOS AIRES, Jan 11 (AFP) - The Argentine government announced Tuesday it would fine water and power suppliers, including French-owned concession holders.

The announcement came as President Nestor Kirchner prepared for a visit to France, where he will meet with French President Jacques Chirac.

Federal Planning Minister Julio de Vido announced that Aguas Argentinas, owned by the French Suez group, would be fined ARS 2 million (EUR 510,000) for interruptions to water supply last week that affected thousands of residents in and around the capital Buenos Aires.

The government also warned Aguas Argentinas to "meet its obligations" - a reference to payment of some ARS 60 million (EUR 15 million) it owes in accumulated fines.

Power supplier Edenor, owned by Electricite de France, was one of three energy companies given ARS 1 million (EUR 255,000) fines. Spanish owned Edesur, and US-owned Edelap are the other two.

The government warned the three they had "substantially" failed to meet investment goals agreed under the concession, and gave them 10 days to present an investment plan fully correcting the situation.

De Vido said that otherwise, there was a "possibility" contracts could be revoked.

The companies claim that they have been unable to meet their investment goals due to financial damage suffered as a result of Argentina's 2001 currency devaluation, when it removed the peso from the US dollar peg.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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