Investors will opt for Uruguay and its legal system, says Spanish ambassador
The seizure of YPF by Argentina can be expected to have a positive repercussion for Uruguay since the country has an enviable legal system and keeps to the rules of the game, said the new Spanish ambassador in Montevideo, Roberto Varela.
However he admitted that working with Mercosur has become uncomfortable because there is a country (Argentina) that does not respect the rules.
Ambassador Varela also anticipated that given the European Union crisis Spanish cooperation with Uruguay will increase and will have to concentrate on priority programs and sectors, among which he mentioned the 60.000 nationals living in Uruguay.
“It is evident that if a country does not offer legal security and another does, investors will look for other options and you don’t need to be very bright to know what is going to happen”, said the Spanish ambassador.
Therefore it can be expected that “it will have a positive repercussion for Uruguay and for us, no matter what the official position of the Uruguayan government is regarding the actions by the sovereign government of Argentina”, said Varela, adding that “it is quite clear that in Uruguay the legal system works, contracts are respected and so are the rules of the game. I will also add that I emphasize on Spanish corporation to respect the laws of the countries where they have activities”.
The ambassador went on to say that given those firm principles and conditions for companies operating in Uruguay “we can expect investments in the country to increase, in such a way that is profitable for both sides. I believe Spanish companies in the fields of construction, communications and environment are moving into this country”.
As to Spain’s original proposal of working with a Mercosur that excludes Argentina, ambassador Varela said that is a decision to be adopted by the South American group, but “it is uncomfortable to work with an association such as Mercosur where there is a country that in a way does not respect accords and rules. But that is an option for each country, anyhow we are waiting”.
Finally the ambassador said Spaniards in Uruguay are strongly rooted, “they love this country and this is confirmed by the low return-rate, which means they prefer to remain here”.
Likewise the Uruguayans that have moved to Spain are the ones that have best adapted and in Spain “there is no ill-feeling towards the Uruguayans” and their stay is limited by the law and the Spanish magistrates, “which is Spain are independent and therefore there is nothing to fear”.