They're burning our flag in Buenos Aires, it's time to stop funding Argentina

June 12, 2012 12:14 PM

If you haven't signed the petition at StopFundingArgentina.org and shared it with your friends yet, yesterday protestors in Buenos Aires came up with a fresh reason to support our campaign. They're burning the Union Jack in the streets. And they're burning it for the most absurd of reasons.

The Argentinian Government recently finished nationalising YPF, a firm that was owned by the Spanish Repsol oil company. Now they are arguing that, to press their facile claim on the Falkland Islands, the nationalised YPF should stop using tankers that fly flags from the British Commonwealth. Bloomberg Businessweek report that before "it was expropriated from Spain's Repsol oil company, YPF used the Stela Polaris, which flies a Bermudan flag, to carry oil from Patagonian ports."

These protests aren't just the work of a few extremists. Argentinian Government Ministers have been pressing for a boycott of British goods and Businessweek also report that "Liliana Fadul, a congressional deputy from the Tierra del Fuego province that nominally includes the Falkland Islands, says YPF is now violating regulations designed to thwart offshore oil and gas exploration in contested waters around the Falklands, which Argentina claims as the Malvinas." Sure enough, the newly nationalised company is bowing to the pressure and has said it "only made an exception this one time".

If they are so hostile to doing business with Britain that one shipment of oil by a firm with a Bermudan flag, which proudly displays the country's historical links to Britain through the Commonwealth, leads to the Union Jack being burned by angry protestors, why are we still supporting the billions in loans they get from the World Bank and its affiliates? Turning the other cheek is one thing, but at the moment we look like complete patsies. Sign the petition at StopFundingArgentina.org and encourage your friends to do the same. Send a message that the Government should be voting against World Bank loans to Argentina.

If you haven't signed the petition at StopFundingArgentina.org and shared it with your friends yet, yesterday protestors in Buenos Aires came up with a fresh reason to support our campaign. They're burning the Union Jack in the streets. And they're burning it for the most absurd of reasons.

The Argentinian Government recently finished nationalising YPF, a firm that was owned by the Spanish Repsol oil company. Now they are arguing that, to press their facile claim on the Falkland Islands, the nationalised YPF should stop using tankers that fly flags from the British Commonwealth. Bloomberg Businessweek report that before "it was expropriated from Spain's Repsol oil company, YPF used the Stela Polaris, which flies a Bermudan flag, to carry oil from Patagonian ports."

These protests aren't just the work of a few extremists. Argentinian Government Ministers have been pressing for a boycott of British goods and Businessweek also report that "Liliana Fadul, a congressional deputy from the Tierra del Fuego province that nominally includes the Falkland Islands, says YPF is now violating regulations designed to thwart offshore oil and gas exploration in contested waters around the Falklands, which Argentina claims as the Malvinas." Sure enough, the newly nationalised company is bowing to the pressure and has said it "only made an exception this one time".

If they are so hostile to doing business with Britain that one shipment of oil by a firm with a Bermudan flag, which proudly displays the country's historical links to Britain through the Commonwealth, leads to the Union Jack being burned by angry protestors, why are we still supporting the billions in loans they get from the World Bank and its affiliates? Turning the other cheek is one thing, but at the moment we look like complete patsies. Sign the petition at StopFundingArgentina.org and encourage your friends to do the same. Send a message that the Government should be voting against World Bank loans to Argentina.

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