Overshadowed by the Argentine 33 months long recession crisis, Mercosur, Common Market of the South, the ambitious economic integration project which includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, plus associate states Chile and Bolivia, commemorated this week its tenth anniversary.
Latinamerica's international financial markets vulnerability can be corrected by strengthening integration efforts, indicated Enrique Iglesias, president of the Interamerican Development Bank, IDB.
In spite of ample public opinion support, (over 50%), Chilean president Ricardo Lagos who this week completed one year in office, is still far from solving two of the countries most pressing problems, unemployment and human rights.
A 41 billion US dollars international stand by support, a new orthodox Economy Minister respected by all parties as a brilliant professional and a clear determination to put the house in order by targeting a balanced budget, seems the right combination to get a country back on its feet and to begin to recover from a thirty months recession.
The very delicate financial situation facing Argentina is straining the political system which could lead to a similar US Congress situation with a convergence of two main blocks, Conservatives and Liberals, in spite of party lines.
Foot and mouth Mercosur experts and veterinary services are meeting this week in Paraguay to consider the situation in the area plus special reports from the Andean and Amazon regions.