Saturday, 21 April 2012

Europe criticizes Argentina's confiscation of YPF and calls for sanctions

The European Parliament passed a resolution condemning Argentina’s nationalization of YPF and called for a partial suspension of tariffs that benefit exports from the South American country to the EU.

After Argentina blocked Uruguayan exports because Uruguay resisted Argentinean attempts to force Spanish fishing ships out of the River Plata region, Argentinean anger now turns against Spanish interests including Repsol that owned 53% of YPF (formerly the Argentine state oil company) whose assets were confiscated by Argentina in a move aimed at attacking anybody who has any kind of economic relationship with Britain.

In a desperate attempt to save Uruguayan companies that now cannot export goods to Argentina, Uruguayan President José Mujica contacted the Brazilian government looking for support.

Financial institutions that deal with the Falkland Islands and provide assistance to oil exploration companies have also been targeted by the government headed by President Cristina Fernández Wilhelm.

has indicated that Spanish ships operating between Uruguayan harbors and the Falkland Islands have a legitimate right to do so and ships navigating under the British flag were, are and will be allowed to enter Uruguayan territory whenever they choose to do so.

The pressure exerted by Argentina on foreign countries and Mercosur countries is backfiring, leaving the government of President Fernández ever more isolated. Just weeks ago, tensions between Argentina and Chile, once again, rose but this does not seem to influence or lead to a change of direction of a very aggressive Argentinean foreign policy.

Speaking with Latin American journalists based in Uruguay, in Spain and in Germany that follow the situation in the River Plate, I could confirm that my fears about an unexpected irrational Argentinean reaction are totally justified.

For a long time I have been thinking about the possibility of a new military aggression once President Cristina Fernández Wilhelm feels confident enough that she can carry the will of the country with her.
Efforts to restore British naval military capabilities should be made a priority. Economic sanctions imposed by Europe could push an already desperate Argentina over the edge.

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