Brazil's Rousseff eyes new Internet link with the EU

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Brazil's Rousseff eyes new Internet link with the EU

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Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff wants a new submarine communications cable to link her country with Europe following claims that Washington spied on her.

Her call for the 111-million-euro connection came at a meeting in Brussels on Monday, where Rousseff said she wanted to protect sensitive information from potential spies.

“I believe this is a policy that if we adopt in a concrete way – and Brazil will make every effort in this direction – we will be giving a major contribution to sustainable and safe relations between our countries,” she told reporters.

Rousseff found herself at the centre of revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden last year; she even postponed a visit to Washington in protest.

The Brazilian head of state also discussed how to move forward on free trade talks with Mercosur, the Latin American trading bloc of which Brazil is a member.

The EU is Brazil’s ninth trade partner and a major destination of EU investment.

One MEP, responsible for international trade, said it was important to seal a deal soon.

“In today’s globalised world, trade liberalisation is an element of progress, growth and employment. We welcome the Mercosur’s decision on starting to open up to the outside,” said Vital Moreira, a Portuguese Socialist.

In early March, Brazil will meet with other members of Mercosur to conclude the deal on market access offers, and present them to EU two weeks later.

But with the European elections in May, and a vote in Brazil in October, reports euronews correspondent Isabel Marques, concrete decisions on a free trade agreement will only be made next year.