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Lula da Silva calls for an enlarged Mercosur to better defend the region’s interests

Monday, December 20th 2010 - 16:39 UTC
Full article 4 comments
The Brazilian leader said there’s full “political, economic and cultural affinity”. The Brazilian leader said there’s full “political, economic and cultural affinity”.

Brazilian president Lula de Silva strongly defended Mercosur calling for a quick approval of Venezuela’s incorporation as full member, and proposed other associate members such Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Chile should follow the same path since ‘we share the same political, economic and cultural affinities’.

Lula da Silva anticipated that her successor that takes office next January first, Dilma Rousseff is also convinced of the significance of Mercosur and is fully committed to the group’s development as an international heavy-weight in global fora.

“We would like other countries to join Mercosur as full members, we would like to see Chile next to us, that the Paraguayan congress approves the incorporation of Venezuela, we would like to have Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia as full members”, said the Brazilian leader during his weekly radio program, “Breakfast with the President”.

Lula da Silva said that the full incorporation of these countries to the block (currently made up of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay plus Venezuela in the process) is most important “because we would effectively have a customs union that will enable us to increase production and consumption among South American countries”.

The strengthening of Mercosur would grant South America better conditions to fight for a more fair and balanced trade with other regions of the world.

“It’s working from the foundations of Mercosur that we must strengthen our agreement with the European Union; it’s form Mercosur that we must work for an agreement with the US; it’s from Mercosur that we must conclude the Doha round trade talks and that will enable us to fight vigorously inside the World Trade Organization”, anticipated the Brazilian president.

Lula da Silva also defended the expansion of Mercosur to the whole of South America on making a review of the recent summit of the group last week in Foz de Iguazú and which marked his farewell from international fora after eight years in office.

“Mercosur is very important for the countries of the region: we have a 99% convergence in relations between Mercosur members and associates, because the block is a full reality and there’s no turning back”.

Further on the pointed out that trade among Mercosur members had soared from 10 billion in 2002 to over 86 billion in 2008.

“This is clear evidence that the countries of the region finally have found the path for development and there’s a full affinity in political, economic and cultural relations”, said Lula da Silva.

“When I came to office in 2003, small countries considered Mercosur worthless, unnecessary that they had to find another trade space. And nowadays everybody is convinced that Mercosur effectively is our space”, underlined the Brazilian leader.

As to the incoming president, he said he had no doubts that his successor and political goddaughter Dilma was also convinced of the significance of Mercosur and would be fully committed to its development and strengthening in the world arena.

Finally in what was interpreted as a message to Paraguay that has been complaining about Lula da Silva’s government non delivery of a promised package increasing the country’s share of the huge Itaipu hydroelectric dam benefits plus additional infrastructure aid, the Brazilian leader said that the incoming administration of Ms Rousseff will have a larger support in Congress.

“There’s a strong commitment from the Brazilian government and of course from the incoming authorities that as soon as possible, when the resumption of congressional activities the agreement will be approved”.

Paraguayan sources revealed that during the recent Mercosur summit Lula da Silva told President Lugo that the incoming government has a working majority in the Brazilian congress and “certain misunderstandings” on financial compensation and other issues “had been cleared”.

The Brazilian congress ordinary sessions resume next February first and the Itaipu contract review package which among other things increases Paraguay’s compensation from 120 to 360 million USD is expected to vote and approve the July 2009 Lugo-Lula da Silva accord.


Categories: Politics, Brazil, Mercosur.

Top Comments

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  • Think

    Mercosurgasm !!!!

    Dec 20th, 2010 - 05:20 pm 0
  • ed

    We woud request to suspend all Brits interests at this area
    for the * quid pro quo * Malvinas !!

    Dec 20th, 2010 - 07:32 pm 0
  • Redhoyt

    hey, Mercosur can be just like the EU ..........

    Is that a good thing? :-)

    Dec 20th, 2010 - 11:30 pm 0
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