Argentina limits ownership by foreigners
Press TV | Fri Dec 16, 2011

Argentina limits ownership by foreigners

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Argentina's congress has started to debate a bill that would regulate the purchase of farmland by foreigners in the Latin American country, Press TV reports.

The bill, which has been introduced following Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez's request, would bar foreigners from owning more than 1000 hectares and cap foreign ownership to 20 % in rural lands throughout the country.

Lower House's commissions of General Legislation, Agriculture and Constitutional Affairs have treated and passed the project that, according to Fernandez, “does not affect property rights but simply protects a strategic resource in a world that would need food and energy”.

Certain opposition lawmakers have criticized the project saying that the government is trying to impose a debate based on 'false nationalism' that jeopardizes foreign investments.

“It is not that this bill jeopardizes investment, I would say that it wipes it out,” Ricardo Buryaile an opposition lawmaker told Press TV.

He added that, “Sovereignty has to do with the country's capability to assert self determination and the ability to enact its own laws. People who buy a piece of land here must abide by the national legislation. It is a xenophobic bill.”

Argentina's president of the Agriculture Commission, Luis Basterra, responded the criticism and affirmed the new legislation will not breach investments since rural land is deemed as a non-renewable natural resource and not as an investment.

Despite political and ideological discrepancies, representatives of the opposition and the ruling party agreed land ownership must be regulated considering that 10% of Argentina's land is in foreign hands.

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Source: Press TV

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