Mercosur will be holding a special meeting of foreign ministers next 15 November in Caracas to consolidate Mercosur presentation before the European Union, according to a release from the Argentine Foreign ministry.
Brazil and Uruguay want to speed a trade agreement with the European Union but without abandoning Mercosur, and making it clear that they are willing to advance at “a different speed” than the rest of the group’s members, revealed a reliable source from the government of President Jose Mujica in Montevideo.
“Until when will we allow ideology to prevail over economics, markets, competitiveness grounding the great vessel of Brazilian trade in the port of little regional pretensions”, asks Katia Abreu in a column published in Folha de Sao Paulo openly criticizing the administration of Dilma Rousseff for its Mercosur policy and the results of the recent Montevideo summit.
Paraguay’s incoming government foreign policy advisor Eladio Loizaga downplayed Mercosur veiled warning calling for a quick return of the country to the block because ‘Paraguay is landlocked and needs the Parana River and the River Plate to reach the sea’.
Uruguayan president Jose Mujica was ironic about the conditions Paraguayan president elect Horacio Cartes demanded for his country’s return to Mercosur, but also in a veiled message called for ‘intelligence and pragmatism’ recalling that Paraguay is a landlocked country.
International issues helped Mercosur to close ranks and give a false image of unity during the last summit held in Uruguay, according to diplomatic sources in Montevideo that are surfacing details of a bitter exchange behind doors between Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez and Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff.
Paraguayan president elect Horacio Cartes confirmed that his government will insist in its position regarding Mercosur, which expects Paraguay to return as full active member following the inauguration ceremony 15 August.
An influential member of Congress from south Brazil strongly criticized his country’s foreign policy towards Paraguay and Mercosur condemning the ‘unnecessary hostility’ and for abandoning legitimate interests and basic principles for an ‘ideological affinity solidarity’.
Uruguay needs a quick resumption of Mercosur/European Union trade and cooperation talks because at the end of the year expire a number of tariff benefits for Uruguayan exports, revealed Foreign minister Luis Almagro.
Speaking for a Brazilian business association in Sao Paulo, Rubén Barbosa accused the government of Argentina of dealing a ‘mortal blow’ to Mercosur, the regional grouping that was originally focused on economic integration and has since become a political forum for the region’s leaders as was again evident during the last summit in Montevideo.