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  1. #1 Argentina Nationalizes Spanish Owned Repsol 
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    Fernández hopes Peronist coup will revive Argentina's failing economy
    Boss of nationalised oil company Repsol declares 'This is being done to cover up the social and economic crisis in Argentina'

    Even as president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner announced on TV her plan to nationalise Spanish-owned YPF, her emissaries were at the oil company's 35-storey Buenos Aires headquarters giving its Spanish directors 15 minutes to leave the building.

    Coming two months after King Juan Carlos had personally phoned Fernández to lobby against such a move, the seizure enraged Madrid. "Argentina has just shot itself in the foot in a really bad way," said Spain's foreign minister, José Manuel García-Margallo, warning that the takeover would hamper Argentina's access to international credit and export markets. "The damage to Argentina could be irreparable," he said.

    But in Argentina, Fernández's televised announcement that she was sending a bill to Congress to appropriate Repsol's majority stake in YPF was greeted with cheers of "Cris-ti-na! Cris-ti-na!" by her officials in the audience at the Casa Rosada presidential palace. Members of La Campora, the Peronist youth group founded by her son Máximo Kirchner, these young economists are masterminding the nationalist imprint that characterises her second term after a landslide 54% in last year's elections.

    The tabloid Crónica headlined its front page "Dame Courage", while a crowd gathered at the Casa Rosada with banners reading "We're going for everything" – a phrase Fernández has used to describe her "national and popular" government's battle against the media and "corporations" that she has in the past accused of plotting her overthrow.

    The YPF bill giving the government a 51% stake is expected to pass in less than two weeks, but opponents are outraged. "This decision is going to make things worse, rather than better and goes totally against the interests of the Argentine people, and within a year we're going to be in a worse situation than we are in now," said the capital's mayor, Mauricio Macri, of the conservative PRO party, lead contender for 2015's presidential election.

    Repsol, meanwhile, announced from Madrid that it would seek $10bn (£6.25bn) in damages from Argentina for its 57% stake in YPF.

    "This is being done to cover up the social and economic crisis in Argentina," said Repsol's chief, Antonio Brufau, who flew in last week in an unsuccessful bid to meet Fernández before the takeover. "She refused to hear us, just as she refused to hear the Spanish government," Brufau said.

    Fernández was motivated in part by a failing energy sector, which has been unable to meet the demand of the economic takeoff of the past nine years. Growth is also threatened by inflation and by the spending on social welfare programmes and industrial subsidies that forms the basis of Fernández's popularity.

    In 2012, it is estimated Argentina will import more than $12bn of gas and oil to compensate for the failure of firms such as YPF (which produces 30% of Argentina's oil) to meet demand.

    YPF was privatised and sold to Repsol by a previous Peronist administration in the 1990s.

    Renationalisation is aligned in the minds of Fernández supporters with the renewed demand for sovereignty over the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic claimed by Argentina as "Las Malvinas".

    "The Malvinas are Argentine, so is YPF,"
    say posters around the country and a T-shirt that artists who support Fernández have started wearing on internet campaigns in favour of the takeover. "This ends five centuries of white Spanish domination," said a supporter. Argentina was ruled by Spain until its independence in 1816.

    But opponents blame the government's erratic energy policies for the energy gap. "There is no energy plan," said María Eugenia Estenssoro, an opposition senator of the Civic Coalition party. "How can we expect the same people responsible for this problem to fix it?"

    Fernández's government could use some distraction. Inflation, at 20%, threatens to accelerate following the removal of consumer subsidies on home utility rates and transport. The ensuing 500% increase in energy bills for some homes and hefty rises for train and bus tickets has alienated consumers who voted last year for continuation of an economic miracle that now seems endangered.

    For the time being, Argentina is ignoring Madrid's angry words about the forced takeover. "This president won't respond to any disrespect or insolent phrases," Fernández said. "I am a head of state, not a bully."
    Guardian UK
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  2. #2  
    PORCUS MAXIMUS Rockntractor's Avatar
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    What a coincidence that our emperor just finished visiting there.
    The difference between pigs and people is that when they tell you you're cured it isn't a good thing.
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Zathras's Avatar
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    Hmm, wonder if the Argentines are dumb enough to go against the Brits over the Falklands one more time?
    Solve a man's problem with violence and help him for a day. Teach a man how to solve his problems with violence, help him for a lifetime - Belkar Bitterleaf
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  4. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zathras View Post
    Hmm, wonder if the Argentines are dumb enough to go against the Brits over the Falklands one more time?
    They seem to be doing so, just now...
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  5. #5  
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    "The Malvinas are Argentine, so is YPF," say posters around the country and a T-shirt that artists who support Fernández have started wearing on internet campaigns in favour of the takeover. "This ends five centuries of white Spanish domination," said a supporter. Argentina was ruled by Spain until its independence in 1816.

    Really? Cristina Fernandez is of Spanish and German ancestry, as are most Argentinians.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnography_of_Argentina

    The Ethnography of Argentina makes this country, along with other areas of new settlement like Canada, Australia or the United States, a melting pot of different peoples. Most Argentines are descendents of colonial-era settlers and of the 19th and 20th century immigrants from Europe, with about 90 % of the population being of European descent.

    Argentina is whiter than the US.
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  6. #6  
    PORCUS MAXIMUS Rockntractor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zathras View Post
    Hmm, wonder if the Argentines are dumb enough to go against the Brits over the Falklands one more time?
    Obama during his visit tried to call the Falklands by their Argentine name although he failed miserably, that should be enough for anyone who is wondering which side the US will take.
    Tuesday, April 17, 2012
    Obama and the Maldives, uh, Malvinas, er, Falklands

    By Donald Sensing

    By now the story is well known among readers of alternative media (buried, of course, by the legacy reporters), that:

    President Obama erred during a speech at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, when attempting to call the disputed archipelago [the Falkland Islands - DS] by its Spanish name.

    Instead of saying Malvinas, however, Mr Obama referred to the islands as the Maldives, a group of 26 atolls off that lie off the South coast of India.

    The Falkland Islands are under British dominion, lying almost 300 statute miles east of Argentina, and were the site of a brief but very violent conflict between Britain and Argentina in 1982, when Argentina invaded them. Britain sent a military expedition that ejected the "Argies" from the islands.

    Argentina, however, has never renounced its claim and the status of the islands is a continual concern to its government, insisting that the Malvinas are an integral part of its country and that British settlements and military forces there are colonial in nature. Britain has maintained since the war that if the Britons living on the island (almost no one else does) ever vote to unite with Argentina then it shall happen. Argentina says that any referendum in invalid on its face because its claims are matter of existing status and fact, not opinion, and therefore not subject to a ballot. And round and round it goes.

    But back to our president's gaffe. As John Hinderaker points out,

    So with one word, Obama both offended the British and made himself a laughingstock with the Latin Americans. Here in the U.S., we are used to such embarrassing errors by our president, but the international press hasn’t quite caught up.

    He goes on to scoff at the Telegraph's sub-headline: "Barack Obama made an uncharacteristic error, more akin to those of his predecessor George W Bush, by referring to the Falkland Islands as the Maldives."

    Except, of course, that such gaffes are extremely common by this president, dating at least all the way back to his candidacy days when he said that he had traveled to all 57 states. Telegraph commenter doctorisabella enlightens the blighted British paper and its readers:

    "When I meet with world leaders, what's striking -- whether it's in Europe or here in Asia..." -mistakenly referring to Hawaii as Asia while holding a press conference outside Honolulu, Nov. 16, 2011

    "We're the country that built the Intercontinental Railroad." —Cincinnati, OH, Sept. 22, 2011

    "One such translator was an American of Haitian descent, representative of the extraordinary work that our men and women in uniform do all around the world -- Navy Corpse-Man Christian Brossard." –mispronouncing "Corpsman" (the "ps" is silent) during a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, Washington, D.C., Feb. 5, 2010 (The Corpsman's name is also Christopher, not Christian)

    "The Middle East is obviously an issue that has plagued the region for centuries." --Tampa, Fla., Jan. 28, 2010

    "The reforms we seek would bring greater competition, choice, savings and inefficiencies to our health care system." --in remarks after a health care roundtable with physicians, nurses and health care providers, Washington, D.C., July 20, 2009

    "It was also interesting to see that political interaction in Europe is not that different from the United States Senate. There's a lot of -- I don't know what the term is in Austrian, wheeling and dealing." --confusing German for "Austrian," a language which does not exist, Strasbourg, France, April 6, 2009

    "No, no. I have been practicing...I bowled a 129. It's like -- it was like Special Olympics, or something." --making an off-hand joke during an appearance on "The Tonight Show", March 19, 2009 (Obama later called the head of the Special Olympics to apologize)


    "What I was suggesting -- you're absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith..." --in an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, who jumped in to correct Obama by saying "your Christian faith," which Obama quickly clarified

    "I'm here with the Girardo family here in St. Louis." --speaking via satellite to the Democratic National Convention, while in Kansas City, Missouri, Aug. 25, 2008

    "Let me introduce to you the next President -- the next Vice President of the United States of America, Joe Biden." --slipping up while introducing Joe Biden at their first joint campaign rally, Springfield, Illinois, Aug. 23, 2008

    "Just this past week, we passed out of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee -- which is my committee -- a bill to call for divestment from Iran as way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don't obtain a nuclear weapon." --referring to a committee he is not on, Sderot, Israel, July 23, 2008

    "Let me be absolutely clear. Israel is a strong friend of Israel's. It will be a strong friend of Israel's under a McCain...administration. It will be a strong friend of Israel's under an Obama administration. So that policy is not going to change." --Amman, Jordan, July 22, 2008

    "How's it going, Sunshine?" --campaigning in Sunrise, Florida

    "On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes -- and I see many of them in the audience here today -- our sense of patriotism is particularly strong."

    "I've now been in 57 states -- I think one left to go." --at a campaign event in Beaverton, Oregon

    "Why can't I just eat my waffle?" --after being asked a foreign policy question by a reporter while visiting a diner in Pennsylvania

    "It's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." --explaining his troubles winning over some working-class voters

    "Come on! I just answered, like, eight questions." --exasperated by reporters after a news conference

    In case you missed it, this week, there was a tragedy in Kansas. Ten thousand people died -- an entire town destroyed." --on a Kansas tornado that killed 12 people

    But then, give the guy a break because, after all,

    This trip wasn't about diplomacy, or taking a stand for democracy or encouraging American values. The president mouthed cautious, standard U.S. stances on Cuba, drugs and free trade, but did so with little conviction.

    Instead, he was really focused on winning votes back home as campaign season kicks in. Acts that can only be justified in a campaign rather than diplomatic context formed a pretty long list at this summit.

    So does this president really care that he riled the Brits and made the Latins laugh at him? Nah.
    http://senseofevents.blogspot.com/20...lvinas-er.html
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  7. #7  
    Senior Member Arroyo_Doble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novaheart View Post
    Really? Cristina Fernandez is of Spanish and German ancestry, as are most Argentinians.
    I thought the joke was that Argentines were Italians who spoke Spanish and thought they were British.
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