Conditions are ready to reach in the short term a trade agreement with the European Union, said Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo whose country, and for the next six months, holds the pro tempore chair of the South American block.
The Paraguayan Industrial Union, UIP, called Brazilian president Lula da Silva an “arrogant hypocrite” for making promises he never honoured, and attacked President Fernando Lugo for generating ‘overblown fantasy expectations’.
Venezuela’s incorporation as a full member of Mercosur has been secured following the confirmation of a political agreement in Paraguay, the only of the four-country group that still had a vote pending in congress.
Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo will be attending the Mercosur summit this week following on Argentina’s guarantee that the blockade on Paraguayan goods and merchandise imposed by an Argentine maritime union will be lifted, effective Monday.
A Mercosur internal conflict involving Argentina and Paraguay which is conditioning the coming presidential summit in Brazil and has again suspended a vote for Venezuela’s final incorporation to the group, seems to have escalated in the last 24 hours.
Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo for the second time in a year withdrew the request from Congress for the approval of Venezuela’s incorporation as a full member of Mercosur. This leaves the issue for next year.
The blockade of landlocked Paraguay’s maritime and fluvial trade which threatens Mercosur unity has been “granted” a five-day truce by the Argentine maritime workers union responsible for the industrial action.
Landlocked Paraguay has called on Argentina to put an end to the blockade of Paraguayan maritime agencies which has virtually cut the country’s foreign trade. Paraguayan Foreign Affairs minister Hector Lacognata also revealed that if the month-long issue is not solved in the next few days, “Paraguay will be absent from the coming Mercosur summit December 15”.
Paraguay summer and winter crops in 2010 totalled 12.688.908 tons establishing a new record according to agronomist Luis Cubilla from the Agriculture Biotechnology Institute. The last best harvest was in 2008 with 10.5 million tons.
The Paraguayan Senate is expected to finally vote for the incorporation of Venezuela as Mercosur full member next week following intense political negotiations. Paraguay’s vote is decisive to complete the Venezuelan membership process since lawmakers of the other Mercosur countries Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil have already approved the incorporation.