YPF EXPROPRIATION

Argentinean police harassed Repsol officials in YPF takeover

Families took refuge at Spanish executive's home

The day the Argentinean government expropriated Repsol’s affiliate YPF, armed police officers, accompanying two top officials, barged into the oil firm’s offices in Buenos Aires and physically threatened 15 Spanish officials before throwing them out of the building, the Foreign Ministry says.

Planning Minister Julio de Vido and deputy economy minister Axel Kicillof gave the YPF officials five minutes to collect their personal belongings before kicking them out, the ministry said in a document that has been sent to its 118 embassies to help diplomats overseas explain the situation to foreign governments.

Argentinean President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner announced on April 16 that her government was expropriating YPF from Repsol, which has run the firm since 1999, and that it was firing all its executives.

After the assault, some police officers went looking for the oil executives at their homes. The officials and their families sought refuge at the home of Repsol’s director for Argentina before they were able to leave the country, the Foreign Ministry noted.

The communique for the embassies also contains a timeline concerning the moves made by the Spanish government to stop the takeover. The last gesture was Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s letter this month to President Fernández de Kirchner, saying that he was “highly concerned” about the growing rumors of YPF’s imminent nationalization.

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