Morales to speak to EU lawmakers about gas nationalization

Bolivian President Evo Morales speaks to the European Parliament on Monday, two weeks after announcing that the country would nationalize its gas sector, giving foreign oil firms six months to negotiate new contracts or leave. Last week, EU leaders warned Bolivia that its increasingly nationalist policies could affect economic growth, urging it to open up markets to promote trade.

Morales has accused some foreign oil firms including Brazil 's state-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA of operating illegally. He also warned that some firms may not be compensated for assets or investments in Bolivia . Although EU nations import no natural gas and little oil from the South American country, officials have said they are worried about the effect on international markets, expressing "concern" at Bolivia 's move to post soldiers at gas installations.

Spain 's Repsol YPF is one of the biggest energy firms active in Bolivia . Analysts say Repsol's rights to gas in Bolivia represent about a third of the company's total oil and gas reserves. Bolivia has the second-largest natural gas reserves in South America after Venezuela , reports the AP.

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