Germany Sees Amazon Destruction as Threat to EU-Mercosur Deal

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The destruction of the Amazon rainforest raises doubts about a 2019 trade deal between the European Union and South American bloc Mercosur, according to the German government.

While the administration of Chancellor Angela Merkel remains committed to the accord, the destruction of the world’s largest rainforest calls into question whether it can be implemented, her chief spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said Friday.

“We also look with great concern at the Amazon region and the advancing deforestation there,” Seibert said at a regular news conference in Berlin. “The way it is treated affects the entire world, and in that context there are serious questions about whether the spirit of the deal can be implemented -- we are skeptical.”

Merkel defended the trade deal last year despite opposition from French President Emmanuel Macron, who said he wouldn’t approve it because of what he said is Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s lack of commitment in tackling climate change.

The issue of the Mercosur deal was raised by climate activists, including Greta Thunberg, when they met with Merkel in Berlin on Thursday.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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