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Chile to Help Argentina Join Pacific Alliance

By: Raquel García - @venturaG79 - Dec 20, 2016, 8:53 am
(La Nación)
Chilean President Bachelet with Argentinian President Mauricio Macri. (La Nación)

EspañolChile is “very interested” in Argentina joining the Pacific Alliance, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said Friday during an official visit to her Argentinean counterpart Mauricio Macri.

In June, Argentina was granted observer status in the group, made up of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

“I hope that during the pro tempore presidency of Chile we will have a Mercosur meeting of ministers and the Pacific Alliance,” Bachelet said. “We are interested in Argentina being a member.”

Macri, who already has just finished his first year in office, is looking for a way to get the bloc to help with his attempt to open the Argentinean economy following a decade of protectionist policies implemented by Kirchner administrations.

Bachelet said during the first quarter of 2017 there would be a meeting between the members of the Pacific Alliance and those of Mercosur to discuss expanding commercial ties.

“There are many things that link us, beyond our history and our affection,” Macri told Bachelet.

Argentinean Chancellor Susana Malcorra insisted on an agenda oriented around regional alliances.

“We have to project ourselves and we can not do it from the perspective of one country. We have to go out into the world together,” the official said.

Earlier this year, Chile reportedly ratified an agreement that reduced tariffs to zero percent for trade between the four countries of the Pacific Alliance.

 

Argentina, on the other hand, has just assumed the presidency pro tempore of Mercosur, made up also by Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay. Venezuela, which until early December was a full member, lost its status after being suspended by the bloc’s founding countries due to its inability to fulfill basic of requirements.

At the meeting last Friday, it was agreed to that Chile would help Argentina in the process of joining the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

“We have gone through all these stages and we can tell you how the experience was,” the Chilean president told Macri.

Source: Reuters, La Nación.

Raquel García Raquel García

Raquel García is a Venezuelan journalist with over 16 years of experience in digital outlets and radios. She currently lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Follow her @venturaG79.

Coup Against Democracy in Colombia: Pro-Santos Court Trashes Referendum Result

By: Orlando Avendaño - @OrlvndoA - Dec 19, 2016, 6:58 pm
Colombia's judiciary branch has called into question the "No" campaign, citing falsehoods in the campaign.

Español On Monday, December 19, the Justice of the Fifth Section of the Council of State of Colombia, Lucy Jeannette Bermúdez, ordered the Colombian Congress and President Juan Manuel Santos to continue with the peace agreement with the FARC, which was rejected by means of a national referendum last October 2. The ruling was handed down in the wake of the so-called "notorious fact" that there were falsehoods in the "No" campaign during the referendum, and also affirms the claims filed by citizens David Camilo Narváez and William Efraín Clavachi against the vote, which features as their main argument the alleged lies of the "No" campaign. Read More: Five FARC Leaders Abandon Peace Deal, Start Talks with Colombian Drug Gang Read More: Colombian Military Concerned by Bias in New FARC Agreement The Council of State made two official pronouncements: "To order the Congress of the Republic and the President of the Republic to proceed with the implementation of the 'final agreement for the ending of the conflict and the construction of a stable and lasting peace', providing for - in extraordinary sessions convened especially for that purpose - special mechanisms for the creation of regulations established in legislative act 01 of 2016 (fast track legislation), which for purposes of compliance with this precautionary measure must be understood as effective," said the ruling. And secondly, "to urge the Constitutional Court to give priority to the resolution of the demands to determine the constitutionality in the matter on which it is required to rule on the validity of the legislative act 01 of 2016, and in particular regarding article 5 of that act." The article referred to establishes that, in order for the fast track to be implemented (which entails reduction of debates in Congress to pass laws and reforms), there must be a popular referendum. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); However, last week the court approved the fast track's activation. Congress is preparing to start processing the Amnesty Law, which would be the first step in the peace agreement's timetable. Thus, the decision of the Council of State orders the continuation of the peace agreement that was rejected and, thus, invalidates the results of the referendum that took place on October 2. Source: Semana, RCN Radio

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