07:02 GMT +319 September 2019
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    German Gov't Says Opposing EU-Mercosur Free Trade Deal 'Not Appropriate Response' to Amazon Fires - Report

    © AP Photo / Natacha Pisarenko
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    Earlier in the day it was reported that Ireland could vote against the trade agreement between the European Union and the four-nation South American trade bloc, Mercosur, if Brazil fails to protect the Amazon rain forest from wildfires. The move was supported by France and Finland.

    Opposing the EU-Mercosur free trade deal is not an appropriate response to the Amazon fires, a German government spokesman has said, as quoted by AFP.

    "Failing to conclude the Mercosur agreement would not contribute to reducing the clearing of the rainforest in Brazil," he told the agency.

    Previously, the office of French President Emmanuel Macron accused Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro of lying about Brazil's climate at the G20 meeting in Osaka in June. During talks with Bolsonaro at the Osaka summit, Macron expressed concerns over the growing rate of deforestation in the Amazon and urged his Brazilian counterpart not to quit the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

    "Given the attitude of Brazil over the last weeks, the president can only conclude that President Bolsonaro lied to him at the Osaka (G20) summit" in June, a French presidential official said.

    The photo of thick plumes of smoke billowing from fires the Amazon forest, shared by French President Emmanuel Macron, apepars to have been taken by a photographer who died in 2003, which means that the photo is 16 years old at the very least.
    The photo of thick plumes of smoke billowing from fires the Amazon forest, shared by French President Emmanuel Macron, apepars to have been taken by a photographer who died in 2003, which means that the photo is 16 years old at the very least.

    In a statement on Friday, Macron's office also said that France would oppose the Mercosur trade deal between the EU and South American countries, which is facing opposition from several members of the European bloc.

    Mercosur is a trade bloc of four Latin American economies – Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, and Uruguay with a combined population of 250 million, accounting for over 75 per cent of South American GDP.

    The wildfires in the Amazon rain forest have drawn international attention. According to satellite data provided by the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research, this year, the wildfire area increased by 82 per cent compared to 2018. 

    Tags:
    Mercosur, wildfires, Germany, Amazon, Brazil
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