Mercosur deal unlikely this year, says Coveney
Published 29/03/2011 | 05:00
It now looks increasingly likely that there will be no Mercosur deal before the end of the year, according to Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney.
"Ten days ago, I was convinced a deal was on the cards within six weeks," he said last week at the ACA conference.
"But now I think it is unlikely that there will be a deal before the end of the year."
Mr Coveney said that powerful countries such as France were even more opposed to a Mercosur deal than the Irish.
The minister added: "You don't get things done in Brussels by banging the table and making demands. I'm going to focus on building alliances so that we have allies around the table."
On CAP reform, the minister said that Ireland was well positioned to defend its national envelope.
Mr Coveney credited his own department for presenting a convincing case in Brussels that the average payment per hectare here is below the EU average.