MONTEVIDEO – Uruguayan Vice President Raul Sendic says criticism from the opposition and even members of the governing coalition of his 2008-2013 tenure running state oil company Ancap is politically motivated.
“They want to sink me politically,” Sendic said in statements published Thursday by newsweekly Busqueda, whose accuracy was confirmed to EFE by sources close to the vice president.
Uruguayan lawmakers have approved a bill to recapitalize Ancap, the South American country’s largest corporation, by writing off the company’s $622 million debt to the Economy and Finance Ministry.
In addition to the debt write-off, the government has requested a $250 million loan from the CAF-Development Bank of Latin America to reduce Ancap’s heavy dependence on private lenders.
Ancap, a maker of petroleum products, Portland cement and alcoholic beverages, ended 2014 with a net loss of $323 million. The firm’s operations between 2000 and 2015 were the subject of a legislative investigation.
Sendic’s stewardship of Ancap has come under fire from the opposition as well as from within the ruling Broad Front leftist coalition.
“We are not naïve. What has been done in criticizing me and bashing me, both from the opposition and from the coalition, was politically targeted,” Sendic said. “They have attacked me to diminish me politically, with that goal in mind. And this is so both from within and from outside the Front.”
The vice president also defended the job he did running Ancap.
“Nothing of what was done in Ancap can be measured in the short term of three or four years. This is the case with biofuels, for example. If we evaluate it only regarding the price of oil (what was done) seems wrong, but the environmental impact in the medium- and long-term is not being considered,” he said.