Bolivia seizes controlling stake in pipeline company

June 3rd, 2008 - 7:14 pm ICT by IANS  

La Paz, June 3 (IANS) Bolivian President Evo Morales has expropriated US-based company Ashmore’s 50 percent stake in gas pipeline company Transredes, which transports Bolivia’s natural gas to neighbouring Brazil and Argentina, EFE reported Tuesday. Morales signed a decree Monday nationalizing all assets of Transredes, saying the foreign companies that owned half of it had been too slow in negotiating.

The leftist leader, who was accompanied by Cabinet ministers and the military brass during the take-over ceremony at Transredes headquarters in the eastern city of Santa Cruz, defended the government’s action as part of the “struggle of the Bolivian people” to “take back their natural resources”.

He also said that his government was giving guarantees to the companies that decide “to invest and recover their investment” as long as they “respect Bolivian regulations”.

“Partners are welcome, but we don’t accept bosses,” the leftist president said.

Morales on May 1 issued a decree nationalizing Transredes, Compa

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