Argentina now appears to be on a collision course with both Britain and Spain and I would urge President Cristina Fernández to learn some diplomacy. She has spent the last six months blasting Britain over the Falklands and now she is talking about nationalising the Argentinian arm of Spanish oil giant Repsol. Spain, who until now had always been a close ally of Argentina, is quite naturally outraged. Fernandez says that nationalising Repsol Argentina would help resolve the country´s pressing energy needs, but Repsol is a major Spanish company and talk of a forced nationalistion has sent shockwaves through the financial markets. There are fears that other South American leaders could follow suit and nationalise other key, Spanish-owned companies in their countries. Fernandez needs to learn that it is always better to negotiate behind closed doors rather than making belligerent speeches in public. Spain and Britain are not impressed and quite rightly so. She should think again.

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