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EU-Mercosur Agreement: Confidence remains

Tuesday in Buenos Aires, South Americans and Europeans stressed their faith in a forthcoming agreement in the ongoing negotiations with a view of a free-exchange treaty between the EU and Mercosur. On the fringe of the meeting of the Ministers of Finance and Governors of Central Banks G20, the Argentinean Minister of Finance Nicolas Dujoyne said he follows “with great optimism the negotiations’ progress.”

A round of negotiations, begun on 19 February, should end this week in Asuncion, Paraguay, the country that is the current president of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur).

“We reaffirm our optimistic point of view concerning the possibility of an agreement; we are working towards that,” declared the Argentinean Minister at the G20 Finance closing the press conference.

After the mention on Monday of a “freezing,”, the French Minister of Finance Bruno Le Maire preferred to speak Tuesday of “problems” and “sensitive points,” but says he is “confident”.

“We want to reach an agreement, but we are facing some difficulties; there are some sensitive points; for the French Government, it is agriculture.” “I prefer taking the time  to sign a good agreement, rather than going too fast and risk signing an agreement that is not as satisfactory as it should be”, he declared.

Preceding Mr. Le Maire, the Spanish Minister of Economy Roman Escolano or  wanted to be reassuring. “The negotiations continue to advance. We have an important perspective: that is to remove the final obstacles that may exist,” he said.

“There is a will on both sides to reach an agreement. On the part of Spain, there is a very clear desire that this project succeed within the next weeks, or within the next months”, affirmed the Minister.

He did recognize however “several issues” of disagreement, but “clearly, there were far more positive elements than points yet to be resolved.”

The Brussels Times