Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Evo Nationalizes Energy Companies - Part 2

As reported before, Evo Nationalized several electrical companies.  Now Britiain's The Economist weighs in-

Since taking office in 2006 Mr Morales, Bolivia’s first elected president of indigenous descent, has taken over oil and gas, mining and telecoms businesses. Partly as a result, he is popular. When campaigning for a second term in an election last year, he promised that power companies would be next. The targeted firms thought they had avoided this fate by negotiating a deal in which the government would take a bare majority stake. No such luck.
But the May Day nationalisation seems to be bringing Mr Morales diminishing returns. To his bemusement, workers at one of the nationalised companies, a co-operative in Cochabamba, staged a protest sit-in. Although Bolivia’s gas revenues have risen sharply, that has as much to do with higher prices and contracts signed before Mr Morales took office as with rolling back privatisation, according to Carlos Alberto López, an energy official in a previous government. Most of the newly state-run firms have performed poorly.

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