EU meeting overshadowed by Greek debt talks

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By Euronews
EU meeting overshadowed by Greek debt talks

EU leaders met their counterparts from Latin American and the Caribbean on Thursday in a summit largely overshadowed by the ongoing Greek debt talks.

More than sixty countries were represented at the event, which is held every two years by the European Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean states (CELAC).

On Wednesday, EU officials inked a visa-waiver deal with Colombia and Peru, making easier for them to visit Europe.

Concrete breakthroughs over the two days were few and far between; the leaders said one of their main goals is to boost economic ties between the two blocs.

The EU has been negotiating a free trade pact with Mercosur – a group of South American countries that includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela as full-time members – for nearly two decades.

Those talks remain deadlocked with little signs of progress on the horizon. Euronews asked Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia, an associate member, why it was taking so long to finalise.

“We say no to commercial competition,” said Morales. “Who benefits from it in the end? It is major multinationals, not the people.”

Notable absentees from the meeting were Cuba’s Raul Castro and Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez.

The next EU-CELAC summit will take place in 2017.