Uruguay's President Luis Lacalle Pou Monday stood by the words he said during Friday's virtual Mercosur Summit which led to a rife with his Argentina counterpart Alberto Fernández.
In the aftermath of Friday's presidential clash between Alberto Fernández and Uruguay's Luis Lacalle Pou over the Mercosur's alleged lack of “flexibility,” Argentine Foreign Ministry's Cabinet Chief Guillermo Chaves said Saturday in a radio interview that the bloc's fundamental identity was to negotiate jointly on behalf of all members, but if each partner was allowed to hold deals individually, the association would lose its raison d'être.
Argentine President Alberto Fernández told his Uruguayan counterpart Luis Lacalle Pou his country did not want to be “a burden on anyone” when the latter called for signs of “flexibilization” on the part of Mercosur to allow member states to seek unilateral foreign trade agreements elsewhere without the bloc's approval.
Although a few weeks ago we talked about Uruguay as a milestone in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, with very few daily cases and a lower mortality rate than any other country in the region, the country of 3.5 million inhabitants surpassed this Sunday the 13 thousand active cases after several record days of daily positives. Scientific and medical societies are demanding measures to stop the spread of the virus despite the fact that 1 out of 10 Uruguayans have already received the first dose of the vaccine – Pfizer or Coronavac – against the disease.
The Mercosur face-to-face presidential summit scheduled for 26th March originally planned to take place in Argentina that currently holds the rotating chair of the block, will be held online because of the sanitary situation in the region.
Argentina pledged on Thursday to manage Bolivia's entry into Mercosur, after both countries relaunched their trade relationship during the official visit of the Argentine Foreign Minister, Felipe Solá, who sees the need to approve the full entry of the Andean country at the next Mercosur summit to be held on March 26.
Austria’s coalition government has confirmed it will block the landmark EU-Mercosur trade agreement – which should create the biggest free-trade area in the world – saying it goes against the EU’s environmental ambitions set out in the European Green Deal.
The shipping company Maersk expects world trade to grow by 3% or more in 2021. The company sees global trade recovering, but there is still a lot of uncertainty about the size of the impact of Covid-19 on the world economy in 2021. So it is implementing a global strategy that positions it for growth in several countries, including Mercosur members.
The former Uruguayan president José “Pepe” Mujica criticized the government of Luis Lacalle Pou and assured that the Covid-19 pandemic “helped” to improve his image. ”The pandemic is white (in reference to the color of the ruling party)“ and ”brought a big help“ to the government, said the former president in a radial interview on Wednesday. ”He has no responsibility, but he positioned himself well in the situation and knew how to take advantage of it”, he assured.
There is no chance at the moment that France will ratify a free-trade deal between the European Union and the Mercosur group, an official at the presidential palace in Paris said on Monday.