Uruguay ready to lead Mercosur/EU trade talks during whole year
Uruguay is planning for president Tabare Vazquez to attend a Brussels meeting with EU officials to emphasize the matter.
Uruguay which currently holds the Mercosur chair is enthusiastic about advancing the agreement since there is now a clear determination from Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay to move ahead.
French president Francois Hollande during his brief visit last week to Montevideo pledged to support talks, although as usual recalled that agriculture remains a "highly sensitive" issue for Paris.
With this scenario and since the fifth Mercosur member, Venezuela, is still in the process of incorporation to the group, and trade negotiations with the EU date back to 1999, Uruguay will propose to its peers that during the following six month period beginning next July Montevideo continues with the negotiations, and at the end of the current year, they are handed over to Argentina.
This means that the alphabetical rotating chair will be occupied by Venezuela, but the business with the EU will continue in the hands of Uruguay. ■