Commerce Milei surprises the Mercosur agreement with the European Union, which Macron opposes

Pedro Sánchez found a more than unexpected ally in the race against time that he is fighting to close the agreement between Mercosur and the European Union (EU): the Argentine Javier Milei

Commerce Milei surprises the Mercosur agreement with the European Union, which Macron opposes

Pedro Sánchez found a more than unexpected ally in the race against time that he is fighting to close the agreement between Mercosur and the European Union (EU): the Argentine Javier Milei.

Unlike his friend and political partner Alberto Fernández, who will refuse to sign the agreement this Thursday, during the Mercosur Summit in Rio de Janeiro, the ultra-liberal Milei is in favor. The Peronist Fernández thus breaks the unity of Mercosur, since Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay want to sign, and frustrates his friend Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, president of Brazil, who wanted to close his six months at the head of Mercosur by signing alongside Sánchez in representation of both blocks. He frustrates Sánchez, too.

"We are going to deploy a strategy to move forward as soon as possible" in signing the agreement, Diana Mondino, Milei's designated chancellor, told "El Cronista."

That, however, will only be possible from Sunday the 10th, once Milei is president. Despite Mondino's efforts, Fernández and his chancellor, Santiago Cafiero, refuse to sign this Thursday the 7th in Rio.

"The proposal has a very negative impact on the Mercosur industry," argued Cafiero.

Deputy Fernando Iglesias, president of the Mercosur commission in the Argentine Chamber of Deputies, pointed out to EL MUNDO the contradictions of the Argentine position: "If Lula, who is notoriously a left-wing person and was a metallurgical worker in Sao Paulo, the main industrial core of South America, considers that the agreement is beneficial, I think Fernández should be a little more careful in his positions.

"A very brief window of opportunity opens before the European presidency passes from Spain to Belgium. And I think we must take advantage of it," added Iglesias, who met with Milei this week to talk about the issue. "I've been with the president-elect and he has that same opinion."

"Argentina needs investments, its platform must be Mercosur. Milei is very determined that Argentina trade with all countries in the world, but align itself politically with the democratic countries of the West, not with the BRICS."

MIlei and Lula do not speak, and the Brazilian president declined the invitation to attend the transfer of command, but the Argentine is willing to take the step that his friend Fernández will not take. Sánchez has also not had contact with Milei, whom he did not directly congratulate for his resounding victory over Peronism in the November 19 elections. And again the paradox: it is Milei who could propel him towards a great diplomatic achievement. The signature would no longer be Lula's, but rather Paraguayan President Santiago Peña as pro tempore head of Mercosur.

It remains, of course, to dissuade France, since Emmanuel Macron described the agreement as "outdated" and refuses to sign it. Without a yes from Paris, the agreement is not impossible, because trade agreements in the EU are approved by a qualified majority, not by unanimity, and in Parliament by a simple majority. But he would be born politically beaten.

"Macron speaks for an internal forum and has a wrong vision," said Iglesias. "The most important economic sectors in France, which is not agriculture, should have a very high interest in closing the agreement."

"The alternative is Mercosur with the European Union or Mercosur with China. That's it. Europe should draw some political conclusion from what happened to it in Africa. If they are going to do the same thing in Latin America, they are going to open the doors to "Russia, the BRICS and China. Does Macron want that?"