April 14 - Spain has threatened Argentina with retaliation if it nationalises oil company YPF, which is controlled by Spanish company Repsol. Sarah Mills reports.
Argentina's ambassador to Madrid remains tight lipped in the ongoing row over the future of the Repsol operation in his country. Spain called a meeting with Carlo Bettini following reports Buenos Aires might nationalise the Repsol-owned unit YPF. Spanish industry minister Jose Manuel Soria says the move would be considered an act of hostility against Spain. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) SPAIN'S INDUSTRY MINISTER JOSE MANUEL SORIA, SAYING: "The Spanish government will defend the interests of all Spanish companies which are acting within and outside Spain. And if somewhere in the world there are acts of hostility against the interests of Spanish companies, the government will interpret them as hostility to the government of Spain and Spain." YPF is Argentina's largest oil and gas company but is controlled by Repsol, providing a quarter of the Spanish company's operating profit. It has been under fierce state pressure to raise production as costly fuel imports eat into Argentina's trade surplus. Speculation has swirled for weeks that the Argentine government could take or buy a stake in YPF, or even nationalize it. But nothing official has happened yet. An expected announcement by Argentine President Cristina Fernandez failed to materialise. And in a statement Repsol confirmed it has not received any notification from the Argentine government regarding its 57 percent stake in YPF. Sarah Mills, Reuters