|Tuesday, 18 February 2020|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 06-05-13
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Between the EU and Latin America Building Bridges of Collaboration12 May 2006 20:46:00
By Tina Valaoura
Sources: ANA - NET
The 62 leaders of the EU and Latin America, who met in Vienna on Friday as part of the three-day Summit, discussed the major problems faced by the planet, including securing peace and human rights, terrorism, drugs and the environment. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his Bolivian counterpart Evo Morales stole the limelight at the Vienna Summit. Although the European leaders asked them not to use energy in order to practice politics, Fidel Castros supporters appeared determined to follow their own course on the matter of exploiting their countrys energy resources. The EU leaders also asked the countries of Latin America to demonstrate a common stance towards the deregulation of their trade markets, in which Greek businesses have shown interest. To top it all, a bikini-clad Latino beauty queen attracted everyones attention when she disrupted the Summit group photo shoot.
Concerns over Chavez and Morales' Energy Plans
The proceedings of the EU-Latin America Summit culminated Friday with discussions among leaders of the participating countries, including Greek PM Kostas Karamanlis.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan also attended the Summit, urging the international community to give priority to the battle against unemployment. Annan said that the vicious circle of unemployment and poverty should be broken up because, as per statistics, the unemployment rate of the poorer one-fifth of Latin Americas population is three times higher than that of the one-fifth of the richer.
He also stressed that there are no simple solutions to the youth unemployment problem, while it cannot be resolved by individual countries, or businesses, or unions, or the citizens, but it demands everyones contribution, while the UN can help.
On the other hand, Mexican President Vicente Fox stressed that this strategic partnership is also essential for Latin America.
In a joint Press conference with EU President and Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel, the Mexican President indirectly criticised the presidents of Bolivia and Venezuela noting that "populism, demagoguery, deception, which only hurt the process of development and impoverish people even more."
Speaking in front of a number of his supporters on Friday, Chavez harshly criticised free trade agreements, while he said that there are long-term opportunities to break the US Empire. After giving a short account of the Latina American freedom fighters, he asked the Europeans to join Latin America and the Caribbean in opposing the USAs domination.
On the other hand, his close associate Evo Morales said that a new era is dawning in Latin America.
"The reality is [...] open market societies are better in their performance than closed, restricted structures," commented Schuessel.
Moreover, British PM Tony Blair urged the leaders of Bolivia and Venezuela to show the world they are responsible in the use of their energy resources.
On Friday night, Chavez and Morales gave speeches at the Alterative Summit, which is taking place since Wednesday in Vienna, with many rallies.
The three-day Summit proceedings will conclude on Saturday with the signing of the Vienna Declaration, after the foreign ministers agreed on the final draft on Thursday night. The next EU-Latin America Summit will take place in Lima, Peru, in two years, when Slovenia will be presiding over the EU.
The proceedings were pleasantly interrupted by a Latino beauty, as evidenced by the Venezuelan Presidents reaction.
While the leaders were lining up for the traditional group photo, a young Argentinean activist, who is a beauty queen in her hometown, put in an appearance, wearing a bikini and knee-high boots, and carrying a sign saying "No Pulp Mill Pollution," in English and Spanish.
"I didnt see anything about pulp; I was just looking at her. She was very pretty and I blew her a kiss," declared Chavez, adding, "It was one of the best things that have happened at this Summit,"
Evangelina Carrozo managed to pass through the police cordon by flashing her accreditation card, which she received as a member of Greenpeace.
The beautiful activist was protesting against plans for a pulp mill in Uruguay, along a river on the borders with Argentina. Buenos Aires has asked Montevideo to withdraw the plan, as is would pollute the river, while it has also filed an appeal to the International Court.
Translated by Vicky Ghionis
Start of Proceedings
"History Has Been Written"
4th EU-Latin America Summit Begins