Bolivia takes over Spanish-owned energy suppliers

Evo Morales signing Iberdrola decree Evo Morales said unfair pricing policies forced him to sign the decree nationalising Iberdrola's assets in Bolivia

Related Stories

Bolivia has brought two Spanish-owned electricity supply companies under state control.

President Evo Morales accused the subsidiaries of the Spanish company, Iberdrola, of overcharging consumers in rural areas.

Mr Morales said rural households had been paying three times more for their electricity than people in urban areas.

The left-wing president has previously nationalised oil, telecommunications and energy-generating companies.

"We had to see that the quality of electricity service is uniform in rural as well as urban areas," Mr Morales said.

He added that his decree was in line with the South American country's constitution, which says that the public interest is above private interests when it comes to the supply of energy.

"We were forced to take this measure," he said, describing the electricity charges as "unfair and unequal".

An independent arbiter will decide in up to 180 days how much compensation Iberdrola will get for its assets, Mr Morales said.

In its first reaction to the Bolivian government decision, Iberdrola said it hoped to be paid a fair price for the companies.

"We hope we will get the real value of our share" a spokesman told the AFP news agency.

Iberdrola owned 89.5% of Electropaz, which operates in Bolivia's largest city, La Paz, and surrounding areas, and 92.8% in Elfeo, based in the Oruro region.

Armed police guarded the companies' headquarters and plants in both cities as Mr Morales announced their nationalisation.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Latin America & Caribbean stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Man holding lipWitch hunt

    The country where a blasphemy charge is a death sentence


  • Espresso cupNews quiz

    Which city serves the strongest cup of coffee?


  • Irvine WelshDeaf ears

    Five famous Scots who can't vote in the Scottish referendum


  • Electric chairReturn of 'the chair'

    Five people talk about their roles in Tennessee's execution debate


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Canada.Hidden rail trip

    Canada's tiny, two-car shuttle is a train lover's dream with scenic views

Programmes

  • A cargo shipThe Travel Show Watch

    It is not cheap or glamorous - so why are people choosing to travel by cargo ship?

BBC © 2014 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.