Bolivia nationalises Spanish-owned power company
Updated at 10:56 pm on 2 May 2012
Bolivia's president has nationalised a Spanish-owned electric power company.
Evo Morales ordered the military to take over the subsidiary of Spanish power company REE, which owns and runs around three-quarters of Bolivia's power grid.
Mr Morales said he had ordered the move in honour of the Bolivian people fighting to regain control of their natural resources, the BBC reports.
In March, Argentina took control of Spanish-owned oil company YPF.
Speaking at a May Day ceremony on Tuesday, Mr Morales said that "in honour of all Bolivian people who have struggled to recuperate our natural resources and basic services, we are nationalising Transportadora de Electricidad (TDE)".
He said he was expropriating the company because it had failed to invest sufficiently in Bolivia.
In 2002, Spanish power company REE bought 99.94% of shares in TDE. The remaining 0.06% are in the hands of the Bolivian employees of TDE.
TDE owns and runs 73% of the power lines in Bolivia, providing 85% of Bolivians with electricity, according to the company's website.
Mr Morales did not say how the Spanish company would be compensated, but in his decree stipulated that the state would negotiate a payout with REE.
TDE's nationalisation is the latest in a series of expropriations decreed by the president. On May Day in 2010, he expropriated four power-generating companies.
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