Spain ruling party vows response to Repsol takeover

16th April 2012, Comments 0 comments

Spain's governing party Monday vowed a "correct response" to Argentina's move to seize control of the YPF subsidiary of Spanish oil company Repsol.

"I am convinced the government will make the correct response to this situation," the secretary general of the conservative Popular Party, Maria Dolores de Cospedal, told reporters.

The government will make "the most suitable response for the defence of nationals interests... a sufficient and complete response to defend the interests of Spanish companies in Argentina," she added.

Argentina said Monday it would expropriate the country's biggest oil company, YPF, controlled by Repsol, allocating a 51-percent stake to the state and the remaining 49 percent to Argentina's oil-producing provinces.

Argentine authorities accuse Repsol YPF of failing to meet commitments linked to oil-drilling in the country.

YPF oil concessions had previously been revoked by 16 provinces, on the grounds that the company was not meeting its investment obligations.

Kirchner has pressured the oil companies operating in Argentina to increase production, after the country's bill for oil imports shot up 110 percent last year to $9.4 billion.

Spain and the European Union last week warned that Argentina would damage relations with them if it went ahead and nationalised YPF.

"We will be accompanied, as we already are by our European partners... and also our partners elsewhere," Cospedal said, without elaborating.

Asked for a reaction, the Spanish foreign ministry referred to statements last week by foreign minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, who warned against "aggression" by Argentina in the Repsol case.

Spain "will react as it considers appropriate and will seek whatever support it considers necessary from its partners and allies," he told reporters on Friday.

© 2012 AFP

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