Argentine senate set to approve YPF takeover

The 72 member house expected to support plans to re-nationalise the country's biggest oil company.

    Argentine senate set to approve YPF takeover
    rgentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner's party controls both houses of Congress [AFP]

    Argentina's senate was set to approve the expropriation of the country's biggest oil company on Wednesday, underscoring broad domestic support that has sparked outrage among foreign investors.

    President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who controls both houses of Congress, unveiled plans last week to seize a 51 per cent stake of YPF from Spain's Repsol.

    She accuses the company of under-investing and under-producing in Argentina, a charge that Repsol dismisses.

    Most Argentines support the move to renationalise YPF, which was privatised in the 1990's after 70 years under full state control.

    Many blame the privatisations and other free-market reforms of that decade for provoking Argentina's 2001/02 financial meltdown.

    "The government's bill doesn't reflect a capricious or random decision," ruling party senator Marcelo Fuentes said during the debate.

    "It's a logical result stemming from the need to reverse free-market thinking in energy policy."

    Al Jazeera's Lucia Newman reporting from Buenos Aires said: "It is no doubt the Senate will approve the law, there are a few dissenting voices, it is pretty much a done deal."

    More than 60 legislators in the 72-member Senate, including many from the opposition, -- could vote for the expropriation, clearing the way for final approval in the lower house, which is expected to debate it on May 3.

    Once the takeover becomes law, attention will turn to the compensation Argentina will pay Repsol for its majority stake in YPF.

    Officials have already said it will be far lower than the $9.3bn the company has requested. 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Revival: The Muslim Response to the Crusades

    Revival: The Muslim Response to the Crusades

    This part of 'The Crusades: An Arab Perspective' explores the birth of the Muslim revival in the face of the Crusades.

    Why Saudi-Israeli normalisation could be dangerous

    Why Saudi-Israeli normalisation could be dangerous

    Apart from being disastrous for Palestine, normalising relations with Israel could get Saudi Arabia in real trouble.

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    It's time to change the way we talk and think about Africa.