Easing tension at the European Union-Latin America summit, a nearly naked beauty queen showed up at a photo shoot.
Evangelina Carrozzo from Argentina was protesting plans for a pulp mill in Uruguay.The summit was planned as a chance to take ties to a new level.
The presidents of Venezuela and Bolivia – Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales – brought their brand of socialism. Chavez also attended an anti-liberal gathering outside the summit. He said Morales deserved support:
“He is delivering on the mandate his people gave him in democratic elections, with dignity. Zapatero did it in Spain; he kept his promise to pull Spain’s troops out of Iraq; Morales campaigned to nationalise oil and gas and did so. That should be applauded,” said Chavez.
Morales said on Thursday he would not compensate dispossessed foreign firms but now he has promised legal guarantees. Host Chancellor Wolfgang Scheussel of current EU president Austria summed up:
“You need enormous amounts of investment: billions, hundreds of billions of dollars or euros have to be invested to secure the safety for consumers and of markets and companies. This is the question: ‘Do we want foreign direct investment, yes or no?’ If yes, you have to secure the investors.”
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan agreed, while pointing to poverty and jobs. With several Latin American governments in disputes, firm deals are not on the agenda in Vienna, only an agreement to launch trade and aid talks with some of the participating countries.