Languages
Page last updated at 05:17 GMT, Saturday, 24 January 2009

Bolivia nationalises energy firm

By Charles Scanlon
BBC News

Evo Morales at a ceremony marking the takeover of Chaco in Santa Cruz, 23 Jan 2009
Mr Morales has taken over several companies since taking power in 2005

Bolivia's government has seized control of a foreign-owned energy company two days before the country votes on a proposed new constitution.

President Evo Morales flew to a natural gas field in central Bolivia to order the immediate nationalisation of Chaco energy company.

He said the country was taking back control of its natural resources "little by little".

Troops earlier occupied all the company's offices and installations.

Chaco, which was a subsidiary of the British oil company, BP, had been in talks with the government about the transfer of shares, but negotiations broke down.

Opposition politicians described the move as a political manoeuvre, coming just two days before a hotly contested referendum on a new constitution that would consolidate state control over the economy.

President Morales has already nationalised most of the energy industry and has promised to take over other sectors of the economy as well.

Speaking inside the Chaco offices, Mr Morales said his government "will respect private investment as long as they respect Bolivian norms."

"We want partners, not bosses," he added.

The new constitution would entrench state control of the economy and give more power to Bolivia's poor indigenous communities.

Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Bolivia set for constitution vote
22 Oct 08 |  Americas
Governors snub Bolivia referendum
24 Jun 08 |  Americas
Bolivia to pay for seized shares
05 Jun 08 |  Business
Morales sets Bolivia recall date
12 May 08 |  Americas
Bolivia poll sparks crisis fears
30 Apr 08 |  Americas
Bolivia agrees new energy deals
29 Oct 06 |  Business
Country profile: Bolivia
02 Oct 08 |  Country profiles

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific