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The Critics Can ‘Go To Hell.’ [interview with Total CEO Christophe de Margerie]

Author: Tracy McNicoll, Newsweek, Published on: 25 July 2009

Tracy McNicoll:...You've said you want to change Total's terrible image at home. How?
Christophe de Margerie:...The Erika [a tanker that spilled off the French coast in 1999] was a tremendous shock here...But the thing is, we can't change Erika. Maybe we've made mistakes...but I can't go back to the past. It's already 10 years ago...
Tracy McNicoll: The outcry wasn't simply about issues like Erika. You were called on to influence Burma to free Aung San Suu Kyi. It was about Total's responsibilities...
Christophe de Margerie:...Today, they are trying to tell us you have no right to speak. They can go to hell. If you want to ask somebody, don't ask Total...[A]sk the government of India why they have companies investing in Burma, when we froze investment...Why Total? India is the biggest democracy on earth. And that's what people don't like to hear. Because then it's a little bit too complex. It's better to say Total has to quit Burma. I disagree.

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Related companies: Chevron Myanmar Oil & Gas Enterprise (MOGE) PTT PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP, part of PTT) Total Unocal (part of Chevron)