EU-Central America set for Brussels meeting to decide future of trade talks
Negotiations between the European Union (EU) and Central America will take a decisive turn next week when all of the participants will meet in Brussels to determine, among other issues, the number of countries still in the game.
The last round of negotiations, which took place in Honduras between March 30 and April 3, was stopped after the Nicaraguan delegation presented a cooperation fund proposal without the consensus of the other four Central American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. After the other nations objected, the Nica team decided to leave the negotiations, halting the process altogether.
Nicaraguan government representatives met with Finance Minister Guillermo Zúñiga and Central Bank President Francisco de Paula Gutiérrez prior to the last round of negotiations, where they presented a proposal for the creation of a €20 billion (about $26 billion) fund. Nicaragua elevated the amount to €60 billion ($79 billion).
“This proposal needed to be studied in detail by the Central American Monetary Council (CECMCA) and Financial Ministers and Secretaries Council (COSEFIN) before it was presented (on April 1),” Zúñiga told reporters during a press conference at the Finance Ministry last week. “(The $79 billion) amount is too high. This would bring contingent debt to the (Central American) countries.”
Zúñiga, who insisted he has reservations on the viability of the fund, will meet today (April 17) with his isthmian counterparts in Guatemala where the next COSEFIN meeting is taking place. On Thursday morning, Zuñiga confirmed during a press conference that the cooperation fund will be among the items discussed at this summit.
The next round will take place April 23 and 24.
You may be interested
Our High Season Print Edition is here! Here’s where to find itKatherine Stanley - December 11, 2017
In the weeks since the relaunch of The Tico Times on Sept. 1, we’ve been hard at work to reconnect…
Bright Lights Boat Parade inaugurates holiday season in QueposElizabeth Lang - December 11, 2017
The Bright Lights Boat Parade marked the official kickoff of the holiday season in the Central Pacific town of Quepos…
Strong winds cause three deaths in Costa Rica, one in El SalvadorAFP - December 10, 2017
Three people have died in Costa Rica, includiing two Swiss tourists, and one in El Salvador as a result of…