News / Europe

EU and Latin American Leaders Talk Trade Relations

Lisa Bryant

European Union and Latin American leaders are holding a summit in Madrid where they have agreed to restart stalled trade talks, and address other issues. The idea of liberalizing trade between the two sides is controversial.

The three-day Madrid summit is expected to address a number of issues, including Haiti's recovery from its devastating earthquake and climate change.  Also on the agenda is deepening trade ties between the 27-member European Union and Latin America - specifically reviving free-trade talks between the European Union and the Latin American bloc, Mercosur.  The block consists of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay.

Opening up the summit, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero of Spain talked about pacts already forged between the European Union and two Latin American countries, Chile and Mexico.  Spain hopes to make the Madrid summit a highlight of its rotating European Union presidency, which ends June 30.

Mr. Zapatero said the EU agreements with Chile and Mexico had brought many benefits and there is still plenty of unexplored territory to tap.

The European Union is Latin America's second-largest trading partner, and some European officials are eager to strengthen those trade ties - aware of growing competition from China, among other nations.

But France and several other EU nations are wary of a free-trade agreement with Mercosur, arguing it could hurt European farmers. Nevertheless, agreement was reached to resume talks on reaching a free trade agreement.

Overshadowing the Madrid summit is the financial crisis in Greece and its fallout - notably sharp drops in stock markets and the EU currency, despite a massive fallback package of loans for troubled EU economies.

Speaking to reporters in Madrid, EU permanent President Herman van Rompuy defended the bailout plan by the European Union and International Monetary Fund, which totals nearly $1 trillion.  He noted European officials are also committed to strengthening the governance of the 16-nation Euro-zone of countries that use the euro currency.

"This is a strong and credible package of decisions. Let me reaffirm the determination of the euro-area authorities to ensure the stability of the euro area as a whole, as a main contribution to the stability in the global economy," he said.

Euro-zone finance ministers have been meeting in Brussels to talk about tighter financial regulation, among other issues.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid