Santiago Peña ruled out an agreement this year between the EU and Mercosur: “We have to manage expectations”

The President of Paraguay, Santiago Peña, in an archival photo. EFE/David Toro

President of Paraguay, santiago penaAvoided giving up for “dead” Trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and Mercosur countriesAlthough he recognized the need for it “manage expectations“, which means to believe that There will be no signing during 2024,

“I am sure that will not happen this year. “I think we have to be very honest with ourselves,” he said in an interview with the news agency during his official visit to Spain. Europa Pressin which he said this “The conditions were not met by the EU”,

In this sense, he indicated that MERCOSUR countries are “ready to move forward”But it understands that, once the technical negotiations are complete, “Political decision” is missing and “Europe is in the midst of elections”, alluding to elections next June.

Brussels refuses to recognize text as lost And the defense says that negotiations “are continuing” although, at the moment, “the conditions have not been met.” He also tries to emphasize that he has a mandate approved by the twenty-seven, including the governments now most resistant to the treaty – with France And Ireland At the top -, which allows it to conclude an agreement, although it later needs to be submitted to the capitals and the European Parliament for approval.

Peña, who insisted that The agreement provides “opportunities” for EU countriesacknowledged that there are “tensions” and “sensitivities” in this regard in various European countries, a result of a concern which he considers even “real” in some areas: “It is impossible to compete with Mercosur’s agricultural producers”,

Santiago Peña with Spanish Government President Pedro Sánchez; And King Felipe VI during the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona (Lorena Sopena/Europa Press)

The President of Paraguay said that, in matters of natural resources And geographical coverageThe South American countries have relevant potential, “The smallest country, Paraguay, is bigger than Germany and has almost the same area as Spain, its geography is flat and the cultivated area is 100 percent,” he said.

“To be honest, I am a loyal believer in the integration of markets and I believe it is good for EU consumers, but it will also require a political efforts to be able to compensate (affected areas) in some way“He added.

so, Pena pointed to the possibility of subsidieswhich although “they may not be sustainable” they may have a “purpose” in some contexts, and warned that in fact “one of the great forces of globalization” is “the opening up of areas of the world to those that use the same products”. Can produce more “competitive prices.”

France and Ireland, for their part, demand that the agreement include “mirror clauses”.To ensure that imports from Mercosur reaching the common market are subject to the same high standards as those imposed on European farmers and, therefore, compete on equal terms.

However, Peña emphasized that Neither Mercosur nor Paraguay will sit idly by Awaiting European decisions. He does not see the delay in the agreement with the EU as any “barrier” to opening up to “different markets”.A thesis he has expressed on other occasions since coming to power.

President recalls recent signing free trade agreement with singapore And sees that the conversation has already progressed United Arab Emirates,

Peña concluded, “Paraguay, as an active member of Mercosur, will continue to offer integration in all markets and we hope that Europe can grasp the opportunities it offers.”

(With information from Europa Press)

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