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The president of Paraguay joins the pessimism over the Mercosur-EU agreement

The president of Paraguay joins the pessimism over the Mercosur-EU agreement

The president of Paraguay, Santiago Penareiterated today that when his country assumes the pro tempore presidency of the Mercosur will focus on other markets and leave negotiations ongoing with the European Union (EU).

“We are already looking the other way. I reiterated on several occasions my decision to next pro tempore presidency be able to concentrate efforts in other areas,” said the president in an interview with the Paraguayan channel GEN. Peña recalled that within the Mercosur Negotiations are distributed among member countries.

Focus on the East

In that sense, he said that Paraguay was in charge of reaching an agreement with Singapore, Argentina, with United Arab Emirates and Brazil with the EU, the Sputnik news agency reported. The Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Sila, “has made a superhuman effort, but on the other side there is no interest,” Peña said about the talks with the European bloc.

In his opinion, the EU has no interest in closing an agreement with him Mercosur, and that is why it sets conditions that are “unacceptable” for the South American part, most of them environmental. “This reaches the point of not recognizing the Paraguayan compliance authorities, it is like saying “we do not believe in what the countries of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, “We want to make our own evaluations.”

“We believe that this is a loss of sovereignty, that condition is practically unacceptable,” he added. In that sense, he considered that the EU sets that condition so that there is no agreement, taking into account that the Mercosur He is not going to accept it, so that the lack of agreement is more diplomatic.

Finally, he highlighted that of the three negotiations that Mercosur was carrying out, the only one that advanced was the one led by his country with Singapore, and confirmed that this Thursday, at the bloc’s summit in Rio de Janeiro, when Paraguay assumes the pro tempore presidency, the agreement with the Asian country will be officially signed. He also announced that as temporary president of the Mercosur will ask to lead the business with United Arab Emirates.

An endless wait

The agreement between the EU and Mercosur, the bloc made up of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, was sealed in 2019 after 20 years of arduous negotiations. However, it was not ratified due to the European bloc’s concerns about environmental policies, especially Brazil during the presidency of Jair Bolsonarowhich promoted the deforestation of the Amazon to favor agribusiness.

In March, the EU presented an additional instrument to the Mercosur in which it incorporated a series of environmental requirements that could harm the export of certain products from the region, for which it was met with resistance from some countries.

Mercosur, for its part, delivered its formal counteroffer in early September, after which the EU said it remains committed to closing a trade agreement. In France, In particular, the agreement generates strong reluctance in the powerful agricultural sectorwhich fears that the Government will have to reduce or eliminate subsidies for its exports, to avoid unfair competition with the exports of the Mercosur.

Source: Ambito

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