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Britain accuses Argentina of 'strangling' Falklands economy by harassing cruise ships near the islands
03:03 GMT, 9 December 2012
Britain has accused the Argentine government of being responsible for escalating tensions in the Falklands.
Four cruise lines recently cancelled scheduled visits to the islands following intimidation from Left-wing groups and unions.
But new reports suggest the Argentine navy’s own coastguard is harassing ships in Falklands waters.
The cruise ship Seabourn Sojourn, pictured, was ordered not to enter Falklands waters last month
The government believes the move marks an uptick in a campaign by President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, pictured right with former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, to 'strangle' the Falklands economy
The British government believes the move marks an escalation of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s campaign to ‘strangle’ the Falklands economy.
The British-flagged Seabourn Sojourn cruise ship was ordered by the coastguard not to enter Falklands waters on November 30.
But the ship’s captain ignored the order and was last night anchored near Port Stanley.
The Foreign Office is furious at the latest act of aggression and believes the harassment of ships will escalate ahead of the Falkland Islands’ referendum on sovereignty in March.
A senior British official said: ‘The intensity of the harassment is significant and worrying.
‘The government in Buenos Aires cannot deny that it is behind this latest aggression.
‘The Argentine government is directly responsible for the coastguard because it is an agent of the Argentine state.’