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  • deanhedges deanhedges Apr 26, 2007 11:32 PM Flag

    Bolivia set to re-nationalize major telephone company

    Bolivia set to re-nationalize major telephone company

    Bolivia announced Monday its plans to re-nationalize the nation's major telephone company currently run by foreign investors but formerly owned by the state.

    At a news conference in the country's capital La Paz, Presidential Minister Juan Ramon Quintana announced the government's formation of a committee to plan for the re-nationalization of the former National Telecommunications Company, now known simply as Entel.

    The committee, consisting of cabinet-level ministers, will be given 30 days to proceed with negotiations on the nationalization of Entel, now controlled by Italian telecommunication company Telecom Italia, according to Quintana.

    Earlier in January, Bolivian press quoted President Evo Morales as saying that his administration would move to nationalize Entel if it found that investment goals were not being met or the company was corrupt.

    Although Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Donato Di Santo, in his meeting with Morales, promised greater transparency regarding Telecom Italia's investments in Entel, within a week of Morales' remarks Bolivia's tax agency SIN accused Entel of evading 24 million U.S. dollars in taxes.

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