Two-time former Uruguayan President Julio María Sanguinetti Tuesday praised Paraguayan President Santiago Peña's stance regarding the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), which would need a major overhaul. Paraguay, a major world food producer but landlocked, is a member of Mercosur along with Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay.
Sanguinetti was in Asunción Tuesday with current Uruguayan head of state Luis Lacalle Pou and the latter's father and also a former President Luis Alberto Lacalle Herrera to attend Peña's inauguration.
He is a more technical president than the classic Paraguayan presidents, I think he is in line with our understanding that Mercosur needs modernization, that it needs opening up, he spoke of all that, in a generic sense, we already know that Argentina and Brazil are fundamental for all, Sanguinetti told reporters.
Peña said he would focus on improving the functioning of Mercosur and perfecting its agreements, including the treaties that created two gigantic hydroelectric dams that his country shares with Argentina and Brazil and which must be reviewed this year.
Also attending Peña's ceremony were Argentine President Alberto Fernández and his predecessor Mauricio Macri, but they seemed to have made no contact. Fernández sat in the front row, between King Felipe VI of Spain and Chilean President Gabriel Boric Font, while Macri sat right behind him.
Macri was also reported to have met privately with Paraguay's outgoing President Mario Abdo Benítez while the latter was still in office.