Vienna was the scene of an alternative event alongside the EU-Latin American summit on Saturday.The demonstration brought together campaigners from both sides of the Atlantic keen to highlight a range of issues. Their aim was to keep pressure on political leaders attending the EU-Latin American summit in the city. One of them, leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, expressed solidarity with the activists at a rally on Friday. Divisions between leftist South American leaders and European counterpartsdominated the conference. Bolivia’s decision to nationalise its energy sector was top of the agenda. But disagreements within the Latin American camp over how to tackle the continent’s problems also surfaced. In an interview with EuroNews, President Alejandro Toledo of Peru criticised the populist policies being pursued in countries like Venezuela. “If we are not capable of reducing poverty to a significant degree we will create a fertile ground for short term populism which will lead us nowhere,” he said. “This populism is a party lasting one night, which ends in funerals the next day, paid for by the poor.” Observers say the summit was a chance to take ties between the EU and several regions of Latin America to a new level, but only the launch of trade, investment and aid talks was agreed.
"Alternative" Euro-Latin event in Vienna