Spain and the UK will join forces against attacks on their companies in Latin America, Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo said, following a meeting on Tuesday in London with his counterpart William Hague.
“We have agreed on defending and mutually protecting each other in Latin America,” García-Margallo assured and in direct reference to the recent seizure of YPF from Spain’s Repsol by the government of President Cristina Fernandez, according to Spanish sources.
“We have agreed to join forces and keep talks over our policies in Latin America, defending judiciary security and protecting the interests of Spanish and British companies whenever they are under attack.”
The Spanish Foreign Minister’s comments took place two months after the Argentine Government announced it was taking over YPF from Spanish oil giant Repsol.
The seizure caused a strong rejection in Europe and in international financial organizations including the IMF and the World Bank although no sanctions have been implemented.
The UK in the last eighteen months also blasted several Argentine attempts of blocking British imports, the ban of several ships to Argentine ports and the threat of civil and penal lawsuits against UK companies linked with oil exploitation in Falklands islands.
Furthermore at one point, Argentine Industry Minister Débora Giorgi urged local businessmen not to buy British made products.
In a related measure the European Union recently filed a complaint before the World Trade Organization against Argentine restrictions to European imports, assuring they are protectionist and causing a real damage to European economy.
The complaint refers to a system of non automatic licences, verbal orders to delay imports and the ‘balanced trade’ mechanism which Argentina applies forcing importing companies to compensate with exports on a one to one dollar basis.