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Carthy calls for suspension of Mercosur trade talks after Brazil events

27 May, 2016 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has reiterated his calls for the suspension of negotiation on the EU-Mercosur free trade agreement following recent events in Brazil where President Dilma Rousseff has been illegally ousted from her position.

Carthy said: "Sinn Féin has for some time now called for the suspension of the Mercosur talks as it is clear that the proposed content of the agreement, if implemented, will have a devastating impact on the Irish agricultural sector. Much like TTIP and CETA, the Mercosur trade deal is yet more evidence that our agricultural sector is under serious threat from the EU's trade strategy.

"But on top of this, we now need to take into account the drastically changed situation in Brazil - the largest economy in the Mercosur bloc - where, instead of dealing with a democratically elected government we are dealing with the aftermath of what amounts to a coup.

"There are serious concerns among the international community that the impeachment process used to depose Dilma Rousseff last month was against Brazilian law and against the Constitution. Several countries have withdrawn their ambassadors in protest at her ousting.

"While the right-wing in Brazil based their attacks on Rousseff on allegations of corruption, a transcript published three days ago by Brazil's largest newspaper, Folha de São Paulo, show that key figures in the impeachment process plotted to oust Rousseff specifically in order to shut down her investigation into corruption.

"The man who took Rousseff's place and instated himself as 'interim president', Michel Temer, immediately replaced the cabinet appointed by the elected president with one which is all-male and all-white - in a country where more than 50% of the population are African-Brazilian. Ministries for women's rights and indigenous people were shut down, while attacks on the minimum age, workers' rights, pensions and social rights loom. Temer, himself being investigated for corruption, was named in the WikiLeaks embassy cables as one of the key informants to the US in Brazil."

Carthy continued: "Together with other MEPs I have today written to the EU's High Representative on Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, to state that it is our view that the democratic will of the Brazilian people who elected Ms Rousseff in 2014 must be respected, and under no circumstances should negotiations continue with this illegitimate 'acting' government. We also call for the EU's full support for the restoration of democratic order in Brazil.

"Sinn Féin believe that all of our trade policies must take into account the impact of trade agreements on working people and farmers in Ireland and Europe, as well as the democratic and human rights of people affected by these trade deals anywhere in the world." ENDS

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