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Mujica admits relation with Argentina is “at a standstill”: all depends on Cristina

Friday, January 3rd 2014 - 05:36 UTC
Full article 11 comments
The Uruguayan president is hopeful something could happen at the coming Mercosur summit in Caracas The Uruguayan president is hopeful something could happen at the coming Mercosur summit in Caracas

President José Mujica admitted that Uruguay's relationship with Argentina is “at a standstill”, and suggested that improving relations was up to counterpart Cristina Fernández and her actions, since “I'm always open to dialogue”.

 “Relations with Argentina are at a standstill, but everything will depend on what the president decides,” Mujica said in an interview on Thursday, while stating that he had not spoken to CFK for weeks.

However Mujica admitted that a meeting with the Argentine president could occur during this month's Mercosur Summit, which is set to take place on January 17 in new member nation Venezuela.

“We could speak there. We will exchange some things and we shall see,” Mujica asserted, also clarifying that at the present time “there is no [bilateral] agenda arranged with Argentina.”

Relations between Argentina and Uruguay have been strained in recent years by a dispute over the UPM-Botnia pulp plant on the shared and jointly managed Uruguay River, which Argentines claim pollutes, despite an international ruling to the contrary and regular water and air tests.

Mujica said he would be travelling to Caracas with the “same open attitude of always” and insisted that “we will have to find a way out” to the situation.

Bilateral relations have been frozen since last October when Uruguay authorized UPM-Botnia to increase its annual production to 1.2million tons which was rejected point blank by the Argentine government. There has been no chance to establish formal or informal contacts because a few days later Cristina Fernandez underwent cranial surgery and was only discharged from a strict convalescence and with limited activities in early December.

Mujica also mentioned the power outages in Argentina and regretted that Uruguay was not able to further support the neighboring country. He also recalled that when taking office (in 2010) 'bridges with Argentina' were broken and at all times “I tried to implement the only possible policy with Argentina and that is standing dialogue. But I must admit that chauvinism in Uruguay is strong, very strong”.

Uruguay is also interested in talking trade with Argentina because since the latest incident, an already complicated situation has worsened. Cristina Fernandez trade and port policies, blocking Montevideo to Argentine exports, have made the relationship tenser.

Top Comments

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  • Mr Ed

    'She loves me, she loves me not'. The more he is abused by her Ladyship, the less he seems to learn. But what would you expect from either of them? Water finds its own level, so these two deserve each other. A poor reflection on the Uruguayan political class that such a person becomes President, Uruguay's answer to Gordon Brown.

    Jan 03rd, 2014 - 07:29 am 0
  • nigelpwsmith

    Like a scorned puppy, he keeps trying to return to his mistress for approval, but she has other things on her mind, now that her only brain cell has been removed!

    It defeats me why such a useless president like Mujica continues to kow tow to that bitch, when all she does is treat Uruguay like a second rate Argentine province.

    I'm sure that a lot of her animosity comes from the many millions of Argentines who smuggle their hard won dollars out of Argentina to place them securely in Montevideo or Sao Paolo. Less money that she can bag for her retirement fund.

    Speaking of which, that can not be far off now. If there are power outages as well as rampant inflation, strikes of all sorts and massively increased fuel costs, then the catastrophic end is only a short distance away.

    Jan 03rd, 2014 - 09:25 am 0
  • yasu

    Cristina acts as a dictator in many aspects, though the majority of Argentinians hate her now due to her failed very arbitrary economic policies. I belive thate she stifled its economy, causing extremely high inflation, unrest. She does not have any brain on economy (cabeza vacio sobre economia). Real estates and construction are major industry in Argentina, but due to shortage of US$, it is standstil:now foreigners will buy any realestates for many years to come, even if Argentina lifts the current restrictions, and she even has caused manufacturing investments: for example, even already established companies such as Toyota and John Deer encounter problems in bringing parts, and new startups such as Honda may wait until CFK and her faction go to cemetry.
    Also Argentina is very bureaucratic country and nobody knows all the details of laws and regulations. For example, AFIP (Tax Office) does not know the very complicated rules,one office sats this and another says that. In any event, Argentina is now a bankrupt underdeveloped country.

    Jan 03rd, 2014 - 09:30 am 0
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