30 May 2007 – Pulp mill conflict

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The first round of talks in New York between Uruguay and Argentina, aimed at finding a solution to the conflict over the construction of a pulp mill, ended without producing results. For a year and a half, Argentina has opposed the construction of a pulp mill by the Finnish consortium Botnia on the Uruguayan side of the Uruguay River and has demanded its relocation. The mill’s construction is now almost complete. King Juan Carlos of Spain is mediating the talks. Both sides expressed “good intentions” for ending the conflict but neither will change its stance. The next round of talks is scheduled for June, but no agreement is expected until the end of the presidential election campaign in Argentina in October. Observers interpret this as a sign that, behind the scenes, a decision has been reached in Uruguay’s favour.