Mercosur countries have reached a basic consensus to look for mechanisms that will allow individual members to negotiate trade agreements outside the block, announced Uruguay's foreign minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa, who has been leading a strong campaign (with Brazilian support) on the issue.
Bolivia is closer to becoming a full member of Mercosur following on Argentina's ratification of the Adhesion Protocol.
The Argentina government formally announced on Monday the primary and national elections calendar, which for the first time includes direct vote for representatives to the Mercosur parliament. Simultaneous primaries will be held on 9 August while the presidential election on 25 October.
Uruguay and Brazil presidents, scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting next 21 May in Brasilia will be addressing Mercosur issues, and advancing in the proposal that will allow the group's members to sign bilateral agreements with third parties not belonging to the region, thus avoiding the 'consensus' clause clamp.
Brazil has proposed reviewing Mercosur rules so that its members can enjoy more 'liberty' to negotiate trade agreements with other blocks or third parties, because even when Mercosur is an indissoluble marriage, this does mean that relations can't be discussed and thus a 'different speeds' group should not be discarded.
Uruguay's foreign minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa called on Mercosur to overcome hollow rhetoric and advance towards the elimination of barriers which restrict access to other markets and intra-region trade.
Paraguay's foreign affairs minister Eladio Loizaga admitted in Madrid that Mercosur could consider the possibility of a two-speed system in trade and cooperation negotiations with the European Union. The minister was the main speaker at the event organized by Casa de America and the Spanish government news agency EFE.
Bilateral trade between Mercosur main partners Argentina and Brazil, has stalled at an annual 30bn dollars during the last six years (2008/2014), with no prospects of a recovery during 2015, according to Finsoport consultants from Buenos Aires.
Uruguay enjoys the lowest perception of corruption among Mercosur countries and also a privileged position at global level, according to the country's Transparency and Public Ethics Commission. The ranking was based on data from Transparency International and World Bank for the period extending from 2003 to 2014.
Argentine residents from the Patagonian province of Santa Cruz, the Kirchner family political stronghold, will be allowed to buy imported cars free of federal taxes, according to the latest resolution 31/2015, signed by president Cristina Fernandez and published in the official Gazette.