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Montevideo, March 20th 2023 - 09:47 UTC



Mujica says Mercosur is a stalled pachyderm and needs trade accords with third parties

Saturday, March 2nd 2013 - 08:36 UTC
Full article 38 comments

Mercosur more than a common market is a “poor customs union” said Uruguayan president Jose Mujica adding that new discussions on the future of the group’s future should be considered but which imply the possibility of establishing new free trade agreements with third parties. Read full article


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  • Mendoza Canadian

    A man with some common sense. Rare in SA.

    Mar 02nd, 2013 - 10:45 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ChrisR

    1 Mendoza Canadian

    I agree but regretably the common sense is littered with stupity.

    And I am a fan.

    Mar 02nd, 2013 - 11:18 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Anglotino


    L. E. A. V. E. Mercosur!

    Wow it doesn't take a bloody genius to see that Uruguay is falling behind because Argentina and Brazil are not interested.

    Join the Pacific Alliance.

    Mar 02nd, 2013 - 12:06 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Sergio Vega

    The best reform to Mercosur is a 6' under graveyard.....

    R.I.P. MERCOSUR.....

    Things must be does like Alianza del Pacífico, with brain and work.....not political populism.....

    Mar 02nd, 2013 - 12:45 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • KFC de Pollo

    mercosur is dead, Uruguay desperately needs to get in with chile, peru etc who are after trade agreements with the states and the eu

    Mar 02nd, 2013 - 05:37 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • mastershakejb

    Mujica's a nice old man......but nice old men shouldn't be running countries, its a cutthroat game. Time for someone who can do what needs to be done. It's time for Uruguay to leave Mercosur, and be an independent, with many trade agreements with many countries, none of which limiting them.

    Mar 02nd, 2013 - 07:17 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • briton

    Mercosur is a stalled pachyderm

    Why use funny words, say it like it is,
    Mercosur is corrupt.

    Mar 02nd, 2013 - 07:57 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Britworker

    Please explain Mr Mujica why anyone in their right mind would want a trade deal with Argentina, other than Iran of course!

    Mar 02nd, 2013 - 09:21 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • screenname

    “in recent years Mercosur...difficulties to trade among its partners… bilateral determination...with Brazil”

    So Paraguay with out on its ear and Venezuela almost on autopilot with the president no where to be seen, where on EARTH can he be hinting the problems are coming from?

    Why does everyone have to pussyfoot around Argentina?

    It would be better long term for the whole of South America if they all told Argentina how it is, and then just dealt with the childish fallout.

    Mar 02nd, 2013 - 11:12 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Chilean perspective

    Mujica is a nice guy but I hope he stays in Mercosur. WE do not need any more left wing nutjobs infiltrating the Pacific Alliance, we have a lot of these socialist economically illiterate dingbats already in our own countries trying to derail the integration and free trade process. Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela and Uruguay stick together don't infect us with your statist, interventionist, free government handout philosophies....We work for what we have, and we plan for the future, not live for today.

    Mar 02nd, 2013 - 11:19 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • toxictaxitrader2

    If Brazil wishes to take its place in World trade organizations it should embrace Uragauy and Paraguay and dump Venezuela and Argentina until their electorates are weaned of the something for nothing culture

    Mar 03rd, 2013 - 12:34 am - Link - Report abuse 0

    Happy Vendimia 2013!

    We in Mendoza choose to live for today...

    Oh wait, the city has exploded this week with wine, music, concerts, parades, food fests, and the rest because we worked HARD for an entire year, to grow something from a desert.

    Mar 03rd, 2013 - 04:12 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Anglotino


    Off topic. So unusual for an Argentine troll.....


    By the way, we do all that shit every week of the year. Enjoy your week! LMAO

    Mar 03rd, 2013 - 04:41 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Think

    (10) The Chilean perspective

    You say....:
    “ Don't infect us with your statist, interventionist, free government handout philosophies....We work for what we have, and we plan for the future, not live for today.”

    I say....:
    According to the experts, you do....., thanks to State interventionism and good people like President Mujica and President Allende. (Presente)

    “It's absurd to describe a nation as a miracle of free enterprise when the engine of the economy remains in government hands.” Copper has provided 30% to 70% of the nation's export earnings. This is the hard currency which has built today's Chile, the proceeds from the mines seized from Anaconda and Kennecott in 1973 - Allende's posthumous gift to his nation.
    Agribusiness is the second locomotive of Chile's economic growth. This also is a legacy of the Allende years. According to Professor Arturo Valenzuela of Georgetown University, Allende's land reform, the break-up of feudal estates (which Pinochet could not fully reverse), created a new class of productive tiller-owners, along with corporate and cooperative operators, who now bring in a stream of export earnings to rival copper. “In order to have an economic miracle,” says Dr. Valenzuela, “maybe you need a socialist government first to commit agrarian reform.”

    So there we have it. Keynes and Marx, not Friedman, saved Chile.

    But the myth of the free-market Miracle persists because it serves a quasi-religious function. Within the faith of the Reaganauts and Thatcherites, Chile provides the necessary genesis fable, the ersatz Eden from which laissez-faire dogma sprang successful and shining.

    Mar 03rd, 2013 - 05:13 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Chilean perspective

    @14 Think
    You are tripping my brother.
    The state only ownes ONE copper company. Codelco formed by Pinochet on the 1st of April 1976 from the three mines partially nationalized first by Frei in 1969 and subsequently fully nationalized by Allende. Codelco exported US$4.5 billion as opposed to the total US$ 17 billion in copper exports by the dozens of other companies. Without an open, transparent and welcoming attitude to FDI we would still only have those three mines instead of the dozens of private operations we have today. As for the dogs breakfast that was Allende's unconstitutional theft of any farm that was larger than 40 hectares, well when he nationalized them food production went down to 1932 levels and the shelves in shops and markets were empty, needless to say they were promptly returned by the junta. So Forget about Marx (everyone has got that memo by now pal), Keynes is still firmly in control in Europe and the US. but we are Friedmans disciples and our economic policy reflects that, note that every year we implement more and more reforms freeing up our economy. For example it takes just one day to form a corporation in Chile, it's free and you can do it on the internet. We averaged 285 new corporations per day in 2012, a record for Chile.

    Mar 03rd, 2013 - 06:50 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Think

    (15) The Chilean perspective

    I just remember recent Chilean history.....:

    Pinochet abolished the minimum wage, outlawed trade union bargaining rights, privatized the pension system, abolished all taxes on wealth and on business profits, slashed public employment, privatized 212 state industries and 66 banks and ran a fiscal surplus.....

    In 1970, 20% of Chile's population lived in poverty....
    By 1990, the year Pinochet left office, the number of destitute had doubled to 40%.....
    Quite a miracle!

    Freed of the dead hand of bureaucracy, taxes and union rules, Chile took a giant leap forward ... into bankruptcy and depression…..
    In 1982 and 1983, GDP dropped 19%. The free-market experiment was kaput, the test tubes shattered.....

    By 1982, the pyramid finance game was up. The Vial and Cruzat “Grupos” defaulted....
    Industry shut down, private pensions were worthless, the currency swooned.....

    Riots and strikes by a population too hungry and desperate to fear bullets forced Pinochet to reverse course.....
    He booted his beloved Chicago experimentalists....

    Reluctantly, Pinochet restored the minimum wage and unions' collective bargaining rights and authorized a program to create 500,000 jobs.....

    In other words, Chile was pulled from depression by dull old Keynesian remedies, all Franklin Roosevelt, zero Reagan/Thatcher.

    New Deal tactics rescued Chile from the Panic of 1983, but the nation's long-term recovery and growth since then is the result of - cover the children's ears - A LARGE DOSE OF SOCIALISM.

    The current good Economic Times in Chile are due to the sensible policies of the last many left wing Administrations governing Chile during the last 25 years….

    The same type of left wing Administration that will, most certainly, return to rule Chile in the forthcoming democratic elections…..

    Mar 03rd, 2013 - 07:41 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • agent999

    Oh here we go again.
    The great Greg Palast has written something and it must be true, has any one yet asked him where the aliens from Roswell are being kept?

    Mar 03rd, 2013 - 08:03 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Chilean perspective

    You are wrong. The ONLY reason that we had the recession and bank failures of 1982 is because Finance Minister Sergio De Castro (a supposed Friedman disciple) and the interior minister Sergio Fernandez pegged the Peso to the US dollar. Friedman and the Chicago boys were against this as it was a manipulation that distorted the markets. The result was not a surprise. Pinochet promptly sacked them both. The damage had already been done, but even though there was terrible damage, the lessons learned came in handy when the GFC struck. WE now have the Spanish speaking worlds best and most stable banking system, as a direct consequence of that tragedy.

    Mar 03rd, 2013 - 08:56 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Anglotino

    On what measures do Argentina, Brazil or countries such as Venezuela exceed Chile?

    There is nothing wrong with a small dose of socialism to counter balance the extremes of capitalism.

    Only Americans want to live under a laisssez faire system where the market dominates to the detriment of society. Countries with better living standards than the US such as Canada, Australia and the Nordic countries mix the best of both.

    Countries such as Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela take it too far and eventually crash and burn. Just like many in Europe have also done.

    Chile has got a better mix than its neighbours and every year this is becoming more and more noticeable.

    Mar 03rd, 2013 - 09:13 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Think

    (18) The Chilean perspective

    Please.... Don't give me that..... shiat.
    I'm your neighbour just across the hills, remember?
    We got our dosis of “Chicago Boys” in Argentina too, remember?
    Chile is faring well at the moment because, guided by the good people of the Center-Left “Concertación de Partidos por la Democracia”, it has chosen and implemented a social pragmatic way that fits Chile quite well....

    Mar 03rd, 2013 - 10:08 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Baxter

    So President Mujica has suddenly realized that Mercosur does not work . But slow I would have thought . Must be his age ! First he banned ships from the Falklands to enter Montevideo . In thanks the Argentines treated Uruguay ,as the rest of Mercosur , increasing tariffs on exports to that country . Then he had the brillant idea expelling Paraguay from Mercosur . An illegal move to say the least ! But , as he told the world , the practical is above the legal . I wonder which other leaders said that over the centuries as they imposed a dictatorship !

    Mar 03rd, 2013 - 01:59 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ChrisR

    21 Baxter

    I live in Uruguay and do not recognise these 'facts'.

    The only FLAG that is banned is the Falklands one: it must be a British flag only (though I know for certain that is breached).

    Mujica did not act on his own in the despotic Paraguay affair and has got his card marked over it.

    You are correct about the disgraceful 'the President sometimes has to act above the law' crap.

    If you want evidence of a dictatorship in the region I suggest you look at Argentina, our dear cousins across the Plate.

    Mar 03rd, 2013 - 03:40 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Baxter

    22 Chris R . Quite right , I should have clarified the Falklands flag affair . Really, would Uruguay ban Royal Navy ships when they played such an important part in the Uruguayan independence . Though I do understand that there was some trouble when HMS Edinburgh , on it's way back to the UK ,requested permission to dock in Montevideo . First yes , then no so it just went on it's way .

    By the way the ships which were not welcome were Spanish trawlers. Which spent a lot of money in Uruguay .

    Mar 03rd, 2013 - 05:00 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Conqueror

    Comment removed by the editor.

    Mar 03rd, 2013 - 06:32 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • JoseAngeldeMonterrey

    Mercosur, Unasur and Celac have nothing offer anymore, unless you`re a populist demagogue or an authoritarian dictator in need of regional legitimacy, like Raul Castro, Maduro/Chavez.

    Brazil has turned the bloc into its own area of influence, regional bodies exist only because of ideological or political reasons, anti-american demagoguery and populism. But the region is impoverishing rapidly, Brazil`s economy is stalling, growing at 0.9% in 2012 with industrial sectors shrinking, inflationary pressures and loss of competitiveness, Vale and Petrobras turned into bleeding, money-losing entities. Brazil is not helping its partner economies grow, and they aren`t helping Brazil either. Argentina is a real mess, consecutive irresponsible industrial policies have turned the country into a Soy Republic, while insane-economic policies stop citizens from purchasing dollars and the Indec has lost all credibility leaving argentinians to believe better what others tell them about their real economic situation. Venezuela`s the biggest problem in South America, and it has just joined the bloc for ideological and geopolitical purposes, devaluating its currency, the chavista regime destroyed their industrial base in less than ten years and the population is more dependant on imports, specially foods, than ever before in their history. To their economic and social maladies now they need to add a real political crisis in the country, with chavistas claiming the right to rule forever, Bolivia has nationalized companies, Evo`s conflictive ruling style has generated division in the country, while investors, bolivians and foreigners, continue to leave the country each day as the situation deteriorates. Uruguay`s dependency on Brazil and Argentina`s unilateral and ultradefensive trade policies leaves their leader with no room and no where to go, by the time they sit at the Mercosur table of negotiations everything has already been decided by the largest partners, so much for a “union”.

    Mar 03rd, 2013 - 06:34 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • briton

    Brazil To Get Its First Nuclear Subs|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE


    Mar 03rd, 2013 - 07:08 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Captain Poppy

    Having a nuclear sub does not make one a skilled submariner. The US, UK even Russia have played the game of “blind man's bluff” and they all know to well it's not easily acquired skills.

    Mar 03rd, 2013 - 07:30 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • agent999


    totally agree, its not just the engines!

    Mar 03rd, 2013 - 07:34 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • redpoll

    Nice to see some interesting debate instead of troll insults on this site.
    I wont enter into the Chilean debate as I have insufficient knowlege to comment. The main economic power is Brazil and they will stay in Mercosur so long as it suits them. The more Argentinas economic power weakens the more it suits the brasileiros
    Uruguay and Partaguay are just minnows in this so called trade pact which has turned into a political organization with the politicos getting freebies and salaries for such organizations as Parlasur, Unasur etc.
    My relatives returned yesterday from a visit to Ushuaia and Calafate along with a Scottish friend who had a British passport so major bureaucratic problems for her in Aeroparque and Ezieza. She had no Spanish and the authourties at immigration refused to speak English and the employees spent thier time chatting to each other instead of doing thier job
    Carrasco Airport the treatment was quite different. Oh, my English is not too good ,I will call my companera who does, so all sorted out in five minutes
    On the tour they hired a remise from the airport to thier hotel. The driver left them three blocks away in the pouring rain because he said the street was being repaired. He was contacted prepaid to take them to the airport at 5am and never turned up, so they had to take a taxi
    On the tour there were many Argentinos from Entre Rios and Santa Fe who complaned bitterly about the CFK govt. Some even said they had to get a sort of internal passport to ensure they had resources to pay for thier trip within thier own country
    Think Is this true?
    Please dont answer with your usual woffle

    Mar 03rd, 2013 - 08:13 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Baxter

    29 redpool i have a British Passport and have travelled to Argentina often in the last six months ,both by air and land , and never had any problem . A smile and a three month entry permit . I do agree that at Carrasco the smile is warmer !

    Mar 03rd, 2013 - 08:26 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • LXN_89

    north, central and south americans countries are independent countries
    the bloody rubbish english bloggers should be concern about their dying
    queen and anxious for the birth of the first royal siamese twin girls expected to “arrive” around July...for kate and william yes siamese twin girls!

    Mar 03rd, 2013 - 09:45 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Baxter

    31 LXN_89 One does appreciate your valuable contribution to the debate . I will pass your kind remarks to His Royal Highness the Prince Wiliam .

    Mar 03rd, 2013 - 10:28 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • redpoll

    @30 Baxter Glad to hear you had a good welcome in my country. In spite of Conks opinion some of us are quite hospitable
    @31 Sussie Will you please stop putting your woar in on these threads please?

    Mar 03rd, 2013 - 10:35 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • MagnusMaster

    @29 did your relatives stay at one of the Kirchnerists hotels in Calafate? Taxpayer money at work! Nothing like knowing your taxes were “well-spent” like seeing those 5 star hotels in the middle of nowhere. I didn't know there were actually foreign tourists at Calafate though!
    I haven't heard anything about internal passports at all, sorry.

    Mar 03rd, 2013 - 11:06 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • redpoll

    Yes they did stay there. As you know women go exactly against what the male things is sensible and advisable!

    Mar 04th, 2013 - 12:23 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    I have to say I have never had problems at immigration in Argentina. The locals seem to have far more problems when trying to travel abroad.

    I once stayed in Calafate and at a remote hotel in the region. There were not so many foreign tourists but there was a very warm welcome. BsAs is quite different to the
    rest of Argentina. You will often find there is a great deal of animosity towards BsAs and Portenos in general from the provinces. (Not unlike other countries).

    Mar 04th, 2013 - 01:42 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • yankeeboy

    I wonder which will go first, CFK or MercoSur?
    Hard to put odds on this one.
    Both are unraveling pretty quickly
    Interesting Think reads and posts the same sites as PH, same conspiracy believers, about the same level of intelligence, neither one has been to Argentina in decades nor knows how a modern economy is supposed to function. Could they please break that mold in Argentina there seems to be a bit too many of them...

    Mar 04th, 2013 - 01:19 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Condorito

    @Chilean Perspective & JoseAngel
    Great posts. Spot on.

    Although I would agree that even the dark cloud of Allende (Ausente) had a couple of silver linings you significantly over estimate the impact of his reforms and the existence of Codelco on the Chilean economy of today.

    As TCP correctly states, Codelco contributes less (and ever decreasing amount) to our exports than the privates and it does so with the worst productivity in the mining sector. Escondida alone produces more copper that Codelco with a fraction of the head count. Even Codelco's woeful production would be impossible if it weren't able to continually hire from the private sector.

    Codelco only exists because there were private mine there in the first place to nationalize and it only survives today because it co-habits an ecosystem with the most productive mines in the world.

    If Chile had not opened up to foreign investment, most of our reserves would still be unknown to us. This is clearly illustrated by the fact that in 1974 our known copper reserves jumped from 7% of the global total to 30%. With socialist policies we would have remained with 3 unproductive mines and had an economy like that of Bolivia today.

    I agree with what you say here:
    “The current good Economic Times in Chile are due to the sensible policies of the last many left wing Administrations governing Chile during the last 25 years….”

    But the truth is that the Concertación never deviated from the economic policy of the latter half of the Pinochet era., i.e. encouraging FDI, negotiating FTAs and sticking rigidly to budget surplus - hardly socialist policies. Ironically Piñera has presided over an era of the fastest growth in public spending.

    Back on topic:
    The extinct ideology of the Mercosur cabal has truly come undone when even old Pepe starts looking to the Pacific coast with envy. Still, credit where it is due, at least he is honest about the writing on the wall.

    Mar 04th, 2013 - 06:16 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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