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Argentine energy minister hit by Shell shares controversy

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By: Associated Press | Published: June 9, 2016 9:40 AM

Argentina’s government is defending its energy minister who is facing growing criticism for continuing to own shares in Royal Dutch Shell, where he was an executive of the local branch.

Juan Jose Aranguren became energy minister in December. He reported about $1.1 million in Shell’s class A shares in a wealth statement that was released this week.

Cabinet chief Marcos Pena said Wednesday that ”the law is very clear” and there is no conflict of interest.

But critics say Aranguren has privileged information about the oil market and could benefit.

German Emanuele of the non-governmental organization Poder Ciudadano says Aranguren is breaking the public ethics law and should sell his shares in the company.

A local prosecutor is investigating Aranguren for incompatible deals while in office.

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