President Dilma Rousseff lost a crucial impeachment vote in Brazil’s lower house on Sunday evening, making her removal ever more likely and deepening the country’s political crisis. Rousseff’s opponents easily obtained the two-thirds majority of votes in the 513-member Chamber of Deputies needed to pass the impeachment measure.
Despite growing optimism among Mercosur member countries of reaching a trade agreement with the European Union, Argentine minister of foreign affairs Susana Malcorra has cautioned that the road ahead is not a bed of roses, and the coming exchange of goods and tariff reduction proposals will not satisfy any of the two sides, but that is where serious discussions begin.
President Dilma Rousseff is scheduled to address Brazil on national television Friday evening, the same day that Congress started a three-day debate to decide whether there are enough arguments to begin the impeachment process that could lead to her removal from office. She is charged with manipulating budget accounts that helped her government present balanced accounts for the 2014 presidential elections.
The first reactions to the announced Mercosur-European trade deal and exchange of proposals next week have surfaced. The Ulster Farmers’ Union president, Ian Marshall, says the European Union trade deal on offer to Mercosur countries is an ‘unacceptable risk’ to the livelihoods of farmers in Northern Ireland.
The European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and Rodolfo Nin Novoa, Foreign Minister of Uruguay, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the South American trading bloc Mercosur, agreed on Friday in Brussels on the next steps in the negotiations on an EU-Mercosur trade agreement.
Uruguay Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa is scheduled to begin this Friday in Brussels what is believed to be the last round of talks with the European Union to reach a wide ranging cooperation and trade agreement between Mercosur and the European Union.
Irish beef farmers strongly reject accord with Mercosur; protest letter to Trade Commissioner Malmstrom
The Irish Farmers' Association has described an European Union offer to allow limited access to the EU market for Mercosur beef producers as “unfair”. The offer, which includes beef producers in Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, is about to be presented to European Union member states for discussion, ahead of a proposed formal exchange of offers as part of the EU-Mercosur trade negotiations in May.
Gibraltar and Falkland Islands flatly deny any “colonial situations” as was referred to by the foreign ministers of Spain and Argentina, and regret profoundly that two large countries with democratic credentials “seek to gang up to bully two very small territories and in the process completely ignore the right of their people to choose what they want to be”.
Mercosur is a fundamental legal milestone in regional integration, and a turning point in the history of member countries, said Uruguay's foreign minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa during a conference celebrating the 25th anniversary, (March 1991), of the founding of the South American group, who nevertheless admitted serious challenges.
The government of Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, her mentor Lula da Silva and their Workers Party fear very much that next Tuesday could become D Day, since its main ally the PMDB, and with the largest representation in Congress, will be holding an extraordinary meeting of the national directory to decide whether to continue or step down from the ruling convention.