According to Poliarquía’s annual survey on public opinion regarding energy issues in the country, 56% of Argentines believe that the country’s oil and gas production should be exclusively state- controlled.
We are talking about that there is a majority that believes that, for example and among other companies, YPF should be 100% state owned and control the country’s hydrocarbons.
It is a strong majority which exists without a media campaign in favor and opposes the common sense of neoliberalism that indicates that the state should not control strategic resources.
In fact, according to the same survey, there is a 65% that prefers national companies against 18% that prefer that they be of mixed capital (like YPF now) and only 4% prefer foreign companies (8% do not care about the origin).
Let’s say it again: In the country of Vaca Muerta, which is being – with exceptions- exploited by multinational companies such as Total (France), Shell (Anglo-Dutch), Wintershall (Germany) and Exxon and Chevron (US), among others, only 4% of the people accept that foreign companies produce oil and gas. This is an overwhelming fact.
It is twice as encouraging that there is a majority of Argentines that think about the role of the State in these strategic issues, in a time when we are being continually flooded with messages about the supposed “benefits” and “successes” of private oil companies and multinationals.
Poliarquía’s survey also concluded that almost half of the population (45%) sees the country’s current energy scenario as bad or very bad. Also, dissatisfaction deepened with the rate hikes of recent years, points Poliarquía’s study.
It is a lie that the Argentine people have lost their memory and are not interested in sovereignty issues anymore. The truth is, we are under a neoliberal government and a neoliberal energy model, based on privatization and foreignization, which is increasingly uncovering its main objective and it has nothing to do with the interests of majorities, but rather are companies that seek to pillage the country’s resources, obtain the highest profitability possible in the shortest time possible and leak the revenues abroad (as Repsol did with YPF not so many years ago).
It is crucial that we put on the agenda that the Argentine people want and need for YPF to be 100% a state-owned company and they also want other state enterprises with modern, participatory and democratic management, that be professional and include new social actors. A 21st century management model of state-owned companies is necessary.
Let us continue fighting for an energy model based on sovereignty, which is nothing other than a country with popular sovereignty.
José Rigane, May 16th, 2019