Chavez warns largest steel maker

President Hugo Chavez said that Venezuela's largest steel maker, Sidor, will not be allowed to make any more exports until it meets domestic needs, and threatened to expropriate the Argentine-controlled company if it resists.

Chavez warns largest steel maker
President Hugo Chavez said that Venezuela's largest steel maker, Sidor, will not be allowed to make any more exports until it meets domestic needs, and threatened to expropriate the Argentine-controlled company if it resists.

Chavez has criticized Sidor for selling the bulk of its production overseas and forcing local producers to import from elsewhere, saying Venezuelan industry should be given priority.

Sidor's parent company, Luxembourg-based Ternium SA, is controlled by conglomerate Techint Group of Argentina. Chavez said he has summoned Ternium chairman Paolo Rocca from Buenos Aires for talks.

"We're going to pass a law, Rocca. We're going to force you to supply, first and foremost, the Venezuelan domestic market before you take (the steel) to other countries," the Venezuelan leader said at a news conference.

"If you don't agree, give it to me. I'll grab your company. Give it to me, and I'll pay you what it's worth. I won't rob you," Chavez said.

Phone calls to Sidor for comment went unanswered Saturday afternoon.

Chavez, who was recently granted special powers to decree laws, also said he was ready to require that all businesses in Venezuela similarly supply domestic demand before exporting.

Earlier this week, Chavez warned he could nationalize Sidor and private banks if they failed to change what he called unscrupulous business practices that harm local industries.

Last Mod: 06 Mayıs 2007, 13:38
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