By Contract Bolivia Can Only Raise Gas Prices Every 5 Years, Says Brazil’s Lula

Speaking to the Brazilian people on his weekly radio program, Breakfast with the President, Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva once again promised that the Brazilian consumer is not going to pay more for natural gas because of the decision by the government of Bolivia to nationalize its gas and oil reserves.

"The nationalization does not mean that there will be a shortage of gas in Brazil. Not only is there not going to be shortage, there will also not be any price increases.

"Under the terms of the contract we have the price can only go up at certain times, every five years. Petrobras has a contractual obligation to negotiate prices with Bolivian authorities from time to time and the price is a price both parties agree on," said Lula.

The president added that in the present negotiations the Brazilian government will ensure that the Brazilian consumer is not hurt. "We will be seeking the best price for our consumers here in Brazil. The Bolivians will be seeking the best price for Bolivia. And we will all reach a common denominator," declared Lula.

Lula pointed out that Bolivia is not the first country in the world to nationalize natural resources. After all, he said, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Mexico have all done the same.

"Everybody wants to own the wealth that lies below the ground. And you have to remember that Bolivia had a vote on this [a referendum in 2005 got more than 90% of the votes in favor of nationalizing]. The people decided to nationalize their gas."

Agência Brasil

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