Government Seizes Control of Nation's Largest Oil Company
On Monday, April 16, 2012, President Cristina Fernández stated on national television that the government would seize 51 percent of YPF, the country's largest oil company. YPF has been majority-owned by Repsol YPF, a Spanish energy company. After the announcement, Fernández fired YPF's chief executive, Sebastián Eskenazi, and replaced him with two of her top aides, Julio de Vido and Axel Kicillof. During her televised speech, Fernández explained that of Argentina's new 51 percent share, the nation's provinces would receive 49 percent and the central government 51 percent.
The announcement created immediate tension with the European Union and Spain. The Spanish government said it would retaliate. José Manuel García Margallo, Spain's foreign minister, said that Argentina "broke the climate of cordiality and friendship."