Tuesday, July 3rd 2012 - 18:32 UTC

Astori describes Mercosur latest decisions as “aggression and major institutional blows”

“It’s a major institutional blow, maybe the most serious in the 21 years of Mercosur” said Uruguayan Vice president Danilo Astori in direct reference to the group’s decision to incorporate Venezuela with the approval of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay and the absence of Paraguay.

”The institutional framework of Mercosur is so weak it can become useless”, said the Uruguayan Vice President

What happened last Friday in Mendoza with the incorporation of Venezuela and the sanctioning of Paraguay “is an aggression that goes directly to the heart of the Treaty of Asuncion and ignores one of the most important basic rules which is that the incorporation to Mercosur of a full member must be approved by all existing full members”, said Astori, in open discrepancy with President Jose Mujica, Foreign minister Luis Almagro and lawmakers from the ruling coalition.

Astori pointed out that the path chosen for the incorporation of Venezuela “could have important consequences for the future, since the institutional framework of Mercosur is so weak that it becomes useless”.

Regarding the open discrepancy with President Mujica, who argued the support for Venezuela was a “political decision” and the result of a long “transaction”, Astori revealed that the differences were discussed at the ministers council on Monday, but “in my opinion, following this very serious institutional blow any thing can be expected from now on, since there is no major ruling from Mercosur left to be violated”.

The Uruguayan Vice president also underlined he didn’t like the fact that the rest of the presidents had taken advantage of Paraguay’s suspension “to support a resolution which the very Paraguayan parliament had somehow vetoed”.

The decision to incorporate Venezuela in the conditions it happened “has already been taken”, nevertheless Astori is hopeful it can be reversed: “hopefully something can be done to revert it, if that possibility existed I believe it must be explored”, said the Uruguayan Vice president.

“Uruguay went with the position of disagreeing with the incorporation of Venezuela taking advantage of the current situation, but things happened in a different way. Minister Almagro continues to stand in discrepancy with the procedure. But the resolution adopted was another and we hope there is a chance of reversing the decision. Uruguay proposed July 31 for the final decision, so we have to wait and see if such possibilities exist”.

Astori also pointed out at the Council of Ministers some of the positive aspects of the Mendoza Mercosur summit: the possibility of bilateral trade agreements with third countries and having contained Argentina and Brazil’s intention to increase the common external tariff to its maximum (35%) which was finally negotiated “to use such an option but on 200 goods which have been added to the list of exceptions to be managed by each country member”.

The Uruguayan Vice president an economist and former Economy minister under the previous government of the current ruling coalition has been particularly critical of the limits imposed by Mercosur senior members Brazil and Argentina on Uruguay and Paraguay in trade terms.

This is extensive to the discriminatory (and unfounded) policies implemented by both countries limiting market access to Uruguayan exports, as well as Argentina’s whims when it comes to the approval of structural loans for the weaker asymmetrical economies of Uruguay and Paraguay.

Argentina with the silent consent from Brazil has also blocked the sale of Paraguayan energy to Uruguay; interrupted an international bridge with Uruguay for six years over the conflict of the construction of a pulp mill; has yet to fulfil its promises to dredge the access canal to Uruguay’s main grains’ port (which under the River Plate administration accord must have the support from both members) and is pushing for a tax data exchange agreement which could have significant effects for Uruguay’s real estate values and banking system.

The continuous pounding of Argentina, and more silent attitude but equally effective from Brazil has surfaced growing opinion for a review of Uruguay’s links with Mercosur, not necessarily abandoning the group but scaling down the relation to an “association” such is the case of Chile, which has a policy of lower tariffs, opening its market and trade agreements with the leading blocks of the world, US, China, EU, Canada, Mexico, Korean, Australia, etc.

13 comments Feed

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1 Mrlayback (#) Jul 03rd, 2012 - 06:55 pm Report abuse
Its nice to hear a vice president speaking his mind rather than a certain Boudou who is a Yes man... and just as corrupt as his master!
2 JoseAngeldeMonterrey (#) Jul 03rd, 2012 - 07:56 pm Report abuse
Astori is correct and in voicing his concerns he is only trying to save Mercosur from becoming a useless piece of paper signed by countries unwilling to abide by any rules.
3 yankeeboy (#) Jul 03rd, 2012 - 08:57 pm Report abuse
Argentina is drowning and if these other countries/entities are not careful they're going to get pulled down with her.
4 Orbit (#) Jul 03rd, 2012 - 09:31 pm Report abuse
If Uruguay wishes to earn hundreds of millions of dollars from oil related activities, there's a new oil province opening up in a store near you. Just a thought.
5 MrKane (#) Jul 03rd, 2012 - 10:10 pm Report abuse
Venezuela hasn't been able to enter the mercosur because of the corrupt and coupist Paraguayan senate. Since Lugo was in favor of Venezuela entering.
I think this decision of suspending Paraguay is a good example of the strong bonds and consensus among the mercosur.
Besides, this coup really stinks, it smells like Uncle Sam, doesnt it?
One more thing, what's with the hating towards Argentina?
6 Fido Dido (#) Jul 03rd, 2012 - 10:59 pm Report abuse
“Venezuela hasn't been able to enter the mercosur because of the corrupt and coupist Paraguayan senate.”

Yup, here, Paraguayan congress puts price to Venezuela’s Mercosur incorporation. en.mercopress.com/2011/02/05/paraguayan-congress-puts-price-to-venezuela-s-mercosur-incorporation.
As I typed, anyone who visited Paraguay will realize it's a true poor begger corrupt nation.

“it smells like Uncle Sam, doesnt it?”
Nah it doesn't. Uncle Sam is broke, to many local/domestic issues, the economy isn't improving, I live here and try hard to ignore the presidential reality show (Obummer vs Mittens the mormon draft dodger romney who is no difference than Obummer) on local news enjoys lecturing us about the new american idol and that everything is fine, while on Clown Network Business Channel (CNBC), Communist Network News and Faux news we're being lectured about how great “the rebels” aka freedom fighters are in Syria and that bailouts for the banks are good. By the way, you read here from some blowhards that were will be a base in Paraguay. Not going to happen.

what's with the hating towards Argentina?
It's so much cooler to be a tool and show off the hatred towards a nation that wants their territory back and most will never visit (to far, to expensive, they can't afford it), rather than concentrating of the problems on home soil (UK). Camaron and his gang on the left side, labour, loves it, play that game while robbing their future in front of their eyes.
7 Chicureo (#) Jul 04th, 2012 - 12:20 am Report abuse
#5 Oh we don't hate Argentina. We just hate the CFK corrupt government that is dragging the country into a cesspool. IF Argentina was ever willing to adopt true liberty and economic development, their economy would be truly worthy of belonging to the G-20. Right now they should be kicked out.
8 LightThink (#) Jul 04th, 2012 - 08:42 am Report abuse
# 7

Even if Argentina government is corrupt.... what's that to you !
9 DanyBerger (#) Jul 04th, 2012 - 09:06 am Report abuse

And why do you think Argentina is a G20 member so?

Do you think that Chile deserves to be a G20 country for example?

Just wonder...
10 British_Kirchnerist (#) Jul 04th, 2012 - 09:57 am Report abuse
This guy is turning into a Cobos, he should be kept at arms length
11 Simon68 (#) Jul 04th, 2012 - 02:57 pm Report abuse
10 British_Kirchnerist (#)

You are SO right, BK, Danilo Astori and Julio Cobos have several things in common, HONESTY, INTELLIGENCE, ETHICS, PRINCIPLES, those things that seem to be lacking in the great majority of South American politicians.
12 DanyBerger (#) Jul 05th, 2012 - 01:25 am Report abuse


oh! Like Alfonsin and De la Rua ha ha

Then they have to run by roof by their incompetence to exercise power.

Are you and official representative of the UCR party?

can you tell us what is your party plan please?
13 Simon68 (#) Jul 05th, 2012 - 03:18 pm Report abuse
12 DanyBerger (#)
No Dany I'm not a representative of the UCR, but just as you say Raúl Alfonsin and Fernando de la Rua, in spite of haveing the stated virtues had to give up their mandates before time due to incompetence to deal with the antipatriotic forces of militant peronism.
I stand by what I commented in @11:

“Danilo Astori and Julio Cobos have several things in common, HONESTY, INTELLIGENCE, ETHICS, PRINCIPLES, those things that seem to be lacking in the great majority of South American politicians.”

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