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Bolivia's president was forced to resign because of low oil taxes

June 7 2005

Bolivian President Bolivia intends to submit his resignation to Congress the country. He announced today on national television. According to the president, it's the most that he can do in this situation.

Statement by the President was made several hours after the regular riots in the capital La Paz. Tens of thousands of demonstrators, among them - the miners, workers and peasants - completely blocked the city center and tried to storm the presidential palace, but the police pushed back the attackers, using tear gas. The demonstrators demanded the nationalization of the country's oil industry, as well as the resignation of President Carlos Mesa and some MPs.

The president was forced to leave the palace and escape to a safe place.

Large protests are not abated in the country since May 16. Legislature of the country on May 6 this year enacted a law to increase taxes for companies operating in the Bolivian gas sector. Bolivian President refused to sign it and sent it back for revision, which aroused protests.

The main foreign companies operating in the Bolivian energy market, are Spanish Repsol, French Total, Brazil's Petrobras, as well as British British Petroleum and British Gas. Situation in the country is also complicated by the desire of eastern and southern parts of the country to greater autonomy, because this is where the major part of Bolivian gas reserves, according to RBC.

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