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Brazil and Neighbors Economic Bloc, Mercosur, Doesn’t Seem Viable the Way It Is

Mercosur's Carlos Alvarez Argentinean Carlos Alvarez, the president of the Standing Committee of Mercosur representatives said he feels frustrated with the workings of the South American trade group and proposes drastic changes since in the current global circumstances integration advances in the region could even turn negative.

"I'm not saying we're on the brink of extinction of Mercosur, but in the current context and how it is currently working, the block is very much limited and needs an urgent structural reform," said Carlos "Chacho" Alvarez who leaves his post at the end of the year.

The former Argentine vice president is scheduled to make a presentation on the issue during the coming Mercosur presidential summit next December 15/16 in Salvador, in the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia. Leaders from the four permanent members have confirmed their presence (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay) plus associates Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela.

"The spirit of the proposal is the creation of permanent institutions, with technical staff who monitor and follow the issues, without having to hand their posts every six months as it happens currently, which impedes making decisions effective and their follow up," said a close aide of Alvarez, who is recovering from a heart condition.

"All presidents talk about creating a production chain of added value, articulate and complement the region's production, but Mercosur has no structures for such a goal, it's all basically inter-government communication," he added.

According to Alvarez Mercosur has been unable to solve conflicts, or gauge their impact because it has no formal structure. It's all left to the presidents, who currently rotate in the chair every six months. The next pro tempore chair will belong to Brazil that must also decide on a name to succeed Alvarez

"Ministers are left to coordinate actions and policies in the marginal time they have left from their own domestic agenda," underlined the Alvarez team.

The Alvarez proposal includes from a system of permanent high officials responsible for specific issues and areas to the parliament representation, more precisely how the distribution of benches should be carved, following a proportionality principle.

Under the current system the Mercosur Parliament has 18 benches per country which means Brazil and its population of 180 million has the same representation as Uruguay or Paraguay with their scarce millions.

Another crucial issue in the reforms is the possibility of a standing tribunal for controversies, which are abundant in Mercosur such as the asymmetry claims from Paraguay and Uruguay and the frontier problems disputes, for example Argentina and Uruguay over the construction of pulp mills, that remains unsolved now for over two years.

Mercopress

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  • Show Comments (1)

  • ch.c.

    Argentina and Uruguay over the construction of pulp mills, that remains unsolved now for over two years.
    And what has Brazil done as a negotiator. even when Lula the Crook was President of the Mercosur ?

    NOTHING….NOTHING !!!!!

    At least once a year Brazil ADMITS they are not fair to the smaller Mercosur nations of Uruguay and Paraguay….but then what do they do ?

    NOTHING….NOTHING. Not even the start of a little “something”

    For Brazil is it quite normal that their farmers control a relatively large percentage of land in Paraguay and Uruguay….but not the other way around.
    You even come up with FULL OF LIES STATS pretending that 50 % of the Amazon is owned by foreigners and they are the ones most responsible for the Amazon….DEFORESTATION !!!!!!

    Well cheaters always cheat, liars always lie, hiders always hide !
    Proven….once more !

    And Argentina is not any better with the Uruguay pulp mill unfariness.

    FACT IS THAT BOTH BRAZIL AND ARGENTINA ARE ALWAYS FULL OF ENVY AND JEALOUS OF SOMEBODY ELSE SUCCESS.
    They cant accept their own ineffiencies !
    This said it not only Brazil and Argentina against others, it is as well Argentina against Brazil…or the other way around !
    I dont put my fingers on Brazil only !
    Argentina has kept a low currency through currency manipulations for 5 years, while Brazil has kept its currency on the very strong side.
    And when early in the autumn the Brazilian currency went down, Argentina complained loudly that it is unfair against the Argentina Peso that the Brl went down by around 30 %, when in fact on a 5 years time frame the Brl was strong against the Argentina Peso…..even after the recent 30 % Brazilian currency decline.

    But as said, cheaters always cheat. This is their nature…by definition !!!!
    Good as much for Brazil or Argentina…or Bolivia…or Venezuela !!!!!
    This is exactly how and why populism blooms in South Ameruca in General…with so much success.
    You all end up losers anyway with this type of mentality….sooner or later !
    History has proven that time works against you, not for you….long term !

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