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Argentina's Kirchner continues barking against Uruguay

By Tony Pagliaro

19.04.06 | Mr. Kirchner is continuing with his intervention in the Uruguayan internal affairs. Surprisingly he called both foreign companies building pulp and paper plants in Uruguayan soil to stop construction to allow the preparation of a study on the environmental impact of both projects. He said he does not understand why the companies from Finland and Spain -which are building world class and state of the art industrial plants- do not accept his suggestion.

We will try to help him. Very simple, Mr. Kirchner, after all the bullying that you have encouraged and the noise you have made on such project, there is nobody in the world that will dare to issue an unqualified opinion on it. Just in case reservations and caveats will be included. If this happens those reservations and caveats will be used by Mr. Krichner’s allies to try to object against the project. Uruguay can never accept such a position.

The way to solve the problem is different, but cannot be accepted by Kirchner, unless he acts “bona fide”, and he cannot since he is protecting his political ally, Governor Busti who simply wants to kill the plants.

Let´s offer therefore an alternative to authoritarian Mr. Kirchner, assuming that he will never accept it:

1. Agree with Uruguay on the operational standards for the plants that will guarantee that they will not pollute the air, the water or the land. This has been done by Europe already. And is transparent.

2. Have the companies accept those standards, voluntarily. If they are like the European standards, as they should be, they should not object.

3. Establish a control mechanism, again transparent.

4. Set a procedure for the correction of problems in case the standards are not met, with proper terms and conditions.

5. Decide what can happen if standards, after the corresponding correction efforts become un-successful, cannot be met. I.e. determine in which circumstances the factories will have to be closed.

6. Agree that all Argentine pulp and paper plants will have to meet those same standards at some point to avoid discrimination in favor of the Argentine plants which today use old technologies that, beyond any doubt, do contaminate.

Do you dare to be honest, Mr. Kirchner? Or will you, as we expect, stay in your present populist attitude? Time will say.

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