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Özdemir wants Mercosur to end tree felling in Amazon

At a summit in July, the European Union wants to make decisions with Latin American countries about amendments to the Mercosur trade agreement. The Swedish EU presidency reported this after a meeting with the trade ministers of the EU countries.

The German Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir is now also setting stricter conditions. On Saturday evening, Özdemir left for Brazil and Colombia together with EZ Minister Robert Habeck (also from the Greens) and a German business delegation. After the election of the new Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the door to protecting the Amazon rainforest opened again, according to Özdemir.

Özdemir said Germany's coalition government will only agree to a Mercosur agreement "if sustainable development is firmly and bindingly anchored. For me that means: stop the deforestation of the rainforest!” 

The EU has been negotiating a free trade agreement with Mercosur for years. Initially, it was mainly France that opposed the negotiated trade agreement, while several central European countries are particularly concerned because their agro and food companies will have to deal with cheaper South American imports. 

There are also increasing voices in the Dutch parliament not to approve the current treaty text. The fact that the Swedish EU presidency is passing the decision on to a real top indicates that simple adjustments by means of an 'insert sheet' are apparently no longer sufficient.

Irish trade minister Simon Coveney said Dublin, like France, is wary of increased beef imports. He said he expects a final deal could be made this year.


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