Mercosur is “lame and in misery”, said Uruguay’s ruling coalition presidential candidate Jose Mujica. As of last weekend Uruguay holds the six month rotating chair of the South American trade block which has as full members, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
“Mercosur is in a miserable condition, limping and full of weak points. And the current international situation tends to promote the worst of protectionism and dirty tricks”, said Mujica in an interview with the Montevideo newspaper Ultimas Noticias.
Uruguayan president Tabare Vazquez last week at the Mercosur summit was extremely critical to inter-trade barriers and “protectionist” measures imposed by Brazil and Argentina, leading economies of the group.
Uruguay also refused to support the creation of a Justice court and expanding the number of seats in the Mercosur Parliament, which would give a clear majority to Brazil and Argentina.
Mujica over the week end on the campaign trail warned about the integration difficulties confronted by Latinamerica compared to the cohesion of other blocks such as the European Union.
“We face extraordinary problems. I realise that to demand something from the world that is coming we must integrate, we must stand together so that we can have certain weight, if not we are condemned”.
Nevertheless he called on militants to struggle for the increase of relations between countries of the region to help face world trade difficulties aggravated by the current international crisis.
Former guerrilla leader Mujica and former Economy minister Danilo Astori make up Uruguay’s ruling coalition presidential ticket. Elections will be held next October 25th and the main competing rival are Luis Alberto Lacalle and Jorge Larrañaga which make up the main opposition presidential ticket.