Thursday, May 3, 2012
Bolivia nationalizes electrical grid
The Bolivian president Evo Morales has completed nationalization of the Bolivian electrical system. The government took control of the main power grid that is owned by a Spanish company.
On May Day International Worker's Day Bolivian troops occupied the company's installations. Other South American countries are also taking back into state control basic services that had been privatized.
Argentina moved to take control of YPF which is majority owned by Repsol SA in Spain also. In Bolivia Morales has not announced yet what compensation the Spanish owners will receive for the state takeover. However, the decree authorizing the takeover did promise indemnification which would be negotiated with the company. Morales said that only81 million had been invested in the grid since privatization in 1997. The government however had invested 220 million in generation while the grid owners profited.
Morales approval ratings have gone down from 69 per cent when he came to power in 2010 to 40 per cent now. Consumer prices have risen and oil production is still low. For much more see this article.