In the last 48 hours “things seem to be getting back on course” said on Saturday Spain’s Minister of Industry Jose Manuel Soria in reference to the ongoing conflict with the Argentine government over the possible take over of YPF, the Argentine affiliate of Spain’s Repsol.
On Friday several members of the Spanish government made strong warnings to the Argentine government with a firm support statement from the European Union regarding the dispute over the possible re-nationalization of YPF, of which Spain’s Repsol holds a majority stake.
“I personally have had no contacts with the Argentine authorities, but we all know Spain wishes the best possible relations with Argentina and all Latin American countries”, pointed out Soria. “This for Spain is a special relation but it is also a two ways highway”.
Nevertheless Soria underlined that in the last 48 hours things seem to be getting back on course “and we hope this is the case and will continue”.
Meanwhile Saturday’s Spanish media assured that Mariano Rajoy’s government was analysing commercial retaliation if the Argentine government decides to advance on nationalising petrol giant YPF. According to newspaper El Mundo, if that is the case, the Spanish government will boycott Argentine soy and meat imports.
El Mundo also reports that in the last 72 hours Spain obtained a clear support from the European Union and the US, and from all Spanish political parties, in the defence of Spanish interests in the case Repsol or any other Spanish corporation is threatened by illegal or out of contract actions.
The Madrid daily said that vetoing “Argentine beef and soybeans could represent a hard blow to the weakened Argentine finances” and recalled statements from Vice-president Soraya Saenz who reiterated that the Rajoy administration would defend “with all the available means the interests of Spain”.
The financial publication El Economista said that Spain called on the G-20 group to make public its position on the possible takeover action against YPF from the Argentine government and warned that the administration of Rajoy has plans to make a formal presentation before the Summit of the Americas in Colombia.
“Ten years after the financial crisis and melting of the Argentine economy and extended social unrest that forced the collapse of Argentine president Fernando De la Rua, “there is nothing idyllic about the Argentine economy”.
In Argentina the Foreign Affairs ministry said there was an “over reaction” and “exaggerated display” from Spain concerning the YPF issue.
“The way the Spanish government defends this cause is in the framework of its attributes, but is seems an exaggeration. Argentina is doing what it believes needs to be done to ensure there is no longer a shortage of fuel and energy”, said Oscar Laborde, head of the Integration and Social participation department of the Argentine foreign ministry.
Laborde was replying to Spanish Foreign Affairs minister jose Manuel garcia Margallo who on Friday said that “any aggression” from Argentina against Repsol, violating the principles of legal and contract security will be considered an aggression against the Spanish government” and warned that “breaking the rules comes with a cost”.