Cattle breeders in Paraguay and Chilean are suffering the consequences of a particularly severe austral winter which has killed hundreds of cattle and threatens the lives of tens of thousands more.
Mercosur full member Paraguay is now between the world’s eight top exporters of beef, with prospects of increasing that position as meat quality increases boosted by improved breeding and better sanitary conditions.
Brazilian President Lula da Silva said on Tuesday he expects the four Mercosur countries Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay to meet in the semi-finals of the World Cup in South Africa.
Paraguay expects an annual growth of 5% by the end of President Fernando Lugo’s administration which finishes in 2013 and inflation should not be higher than one digit said Economy Minister Dionisio Borda.
Soccer or football was first played by the indigenous Guaranies in what is today Paraguay, the heartland of South America and one of the sixteen best teams of the current World Cup currently been disputed in South Africa.
“There are better conditions, things are quieter now” to consider the incorporation of Venezuela to Mercosur as full member said Paraguayan cabinet chief Miguel Lopez Perito, following a political agreement in Congress with one of the main opposition parties.
The incorporation of Venezuela to Mercosur faces a tough battle in the Paraguayan congress following statements’ from the Upper House president who said that “it recalls us the time of the (Alfredo Stroessner) dictatorship” adding it was difficult to dissociate the country from the figure of Hugo Chavez.
Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo admitted he called on Congress to reach a consensus to vote the incorporation of Venezuela to Mercosur, since Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay have already done so and ‘only Paraguay is missing’.
For Brazil the renegotiation of the Itaipú dam treaty between Brazil and Paraguay ‘is over’ following on last year’s declaration of Presidents Lula da Silva and Fernando Lugo, said Marco Aurelio García the Brazilian president main advisor in international affairs.
The Paraguayan government will not send do Congress the protocol for the incorporation to Venezuela to Mercosur because conditions for its approval are non existent yet, said the country’s Foreign Affairs minister Héctor Lacognata.