The European lawmakers’ delegation said it was surprised with the drastic and quick determinations, with no right to defence or appeal, decided against Paraguay by Mercosur and Unasur, said Paraguayan Foreign Minister Jose Felix Fernandez Estigarribia, following a meeting in Asuncion with the visiting MEPs.
The fact-finding delegation of MEP started on Monday a series of interviews and contacts to assess the country’s political situation which following a political impeachment in late June concluded with the removal of Fernando Lugo and his replacement by President Federico Franco.
Mercosur and Unasur suspended Paraguay from their respective organizations until next year’s election. Mercosur took advantage of Paraguay’s suspension to incorporate Venezuela as a full member, and Unasur removed Paraguay from the rotating presidency of the group giving it to Peru.
“The Euro lawmakers are surprised by the fact that both Mercosur and Unasur decided resolutions regarding Paraguay without giving us the right to defence”, said Foreign minister Fernández Estigarribia following the meeting that included an interview with President Franco, Senators and members of the current administration.
However the MEP delegation left without making any public statements or talking with the Paraguayan media.
“They are very cautious since they are in a fact-finding in-situ mission”, said Fernandez Estigarribia to somehow explain why their silence. He added that the MEP delegation has representatives from the Popular, Socialist, Green and other EU parties.
“It was an informative visit; very cordial, they asked all sorts of questions and I believe they left satisfied with what they heard”, added the Paraguayan official.
“The visiting delegation said that the European Parliament has not taken any decision, yet, regarding the Paraguayan situation; the delegation will be presenting their report once they are back and from then on the whole house will decide”.
Fernandez Estigarribia said the MEP asked about the current political situation in Paraguay, social conditions, freedom of the press, civil liberties and “they were also interested in knowing our opinions on Mercosur and Unasur”.
The delegation leaves Paraguay on Wednesday but still has an agenda of meetings with members of the Lower House, Senate, Supreme Court, Electoral Court and representatives from all political parties.