Wednesday, July 17, 2024

ECONOMY | 05-02-2024 20:16

Germany's Scholz stresses importance of EU-Mercosur agreement

Germany is one of the most fervent supporters of an agreement between the European Union and Mercosur nations. France, however, is starkly opposed.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday reiterated his support for the much-delayed trade agreement between the European Union and the Mercosur South American bloc, claiming the deal would bring "growth prospects" to Europe.

"Germany is a country that is very attached to free trade ... I think we all agree that we need such agreements because they are of great geostrategic importance," he said.

Scholz delivered his remarks during a press conference with French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, who reiterated Paris' opposition to the Mercosur accord because "the conditions are not met."

The agreement with the Mercosur nations (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay), which has been negotiated for almost a quarter of a century across various governments, has recently faced stiff resistance from farmers in several European countries, including France and Germany, who are protesting for better incomes and conditions.

Farmers fear that the EU-Mercosur deal will further depress the prices of their products.

The agreement aims to reduce import tariffs on mainly European industrial and pharmaceutical goods, as well as agricultural products.

Discussions over the future of the agreement have sparked tensions between Paris and Brussels.

French President Emmanuel Macron has more than once reaffirmed his opposition to the trade deal,

Germany, on the other hand, is one of the most fervent supporters of the agreement with Latin American countries, which will expand opportunities for its powerful export industry.



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