For the fifth year running a massive concentration of Argentine environmentalists and picketers marched Sunday across an international bridge linking with Uruguay to protest against a pulp mill built on the Uruguayan side and which has been at the heart of a bilateral political and diplomatic dispute between the neighbouring countries.
The intense six month drought suffered by Uruguay this summer cost the farming sector an estimated 868 million US dollars and the loss of 12.800 jobs according to a report from the country’s main farmers’ organization. The loss breaks down to 75% livestock; 11% agriculture; 11% dairy farming and 3% citrus plantations.
Uruguay will experience a serious deterioration of its exports in 2009 with impacts on the rest of the economy and growth limited to a mere 0.2%, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit, EIU.
The International Monetary Fund World Economic Outlook estimates that the Uruguayan economy will expand 1.3% this year and 2% in 2010, following an almost record breaking 8.9% in the fourth quarter of 2008.
Uruguay’s Economy minister Alvaro García downgraded the country’s growth prospects for this year while doubling the budget deficit estimate from 1% to 2% of GDP. He made the announcements following Monday’s cabinet meeting when he admitted the Uruguayan economy will expand 2% in 2009, --down from 3%-- with a first negative quarter.
The King of Malaysia is expected Monday in Uruguay to participate in a equestrian endurance competition scheduled for next Friday. An advance party of King Mizan Zainal Abidin, 46, is already in Uruguay selecting horses and addressing security issues for the monarch and his immediate collaborators.
The 2008/09 cruise season in Uruguay has come to an end over the weekend totalling 169 calls which is 87% higher than the previous season. However the big news is that while the port of the capital Montevideo virtually received the same number of tourists, the exclusive South Atlantic sea-side resort of Punta del Este almost doubled the calls.
Uruguay’s Electoral Roll for the coming October presidential and legislative elections was closed this week with the incorporation of 273.916 new voters. The total number of Uruguayans over 18 by April 2009, and which must vote (compulsory) in the coming elections, now totals 2.562.000.
The Uruguayan Senate, with the votes from the ruling coalition, approved Wednesday the founding charter of the Union of South American Nations, UNASUR, while the opposition rejected in block the initiative describing it as an “ideological integration”.
Uruguay’s presidential hopeful and former guerrilla leader Jose Mujica leads comfortably in the ruling coalition’s coming primary scheduled for next June 28th, according to the latest public opinion poll released this week.