President Lula during a press conference in Italy. Photo Ricardo Stuckert

On the last day of his official visit to Italy, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced in a press conference this Saturday (15) that Brazil is prepared to sign the free trade agreement between Mercosur and the European Union. According to Lula, the conclusion of the agreement now depends only on the conclusion of the National Assembly elections in France, brought forward to the end of June after the dissolution of Parliament by President Emmanuel Macron.

“We are certain that the agreement will be beneficial for South America, Mercosur and for businesspeople and governments in the European Union”, stated Lula, highlighting the importance of the treaty during his participation in the G7 summit, held in the Puglia region.

Lula’s visit to Italy reinforced Brazil’s commitment to the free trade agreement between Mercosur and the European Union, in addition to promoting significant discussions on global governance, inequality and energy transition. The president also highlighted the importance of international cooperation to resolve conflicts and promote economic development.

Lula highlighted the importance of increasing foreign trade to improve the flow of the trade balance. “It is necessary to increase the profitability of each country, foreign trade, the flow in the trade balance and whoever deals with this is a businessman, not a government”, he stated. He emphasized that governments open the doors, but it is businesspeople who do business.

Taxation of the super-rich and global governance

Lula also took the opportunity to discuss the proposal to tax the super-rich, which suggests a minimum global tax of 2% on billionaires’ wealth, affecting approximately 3,000 people around the world. “I invited everyone to join the fight against inequality, against hunger and against poverty,” she declared, criticizing the extreme concentration of wealth.

Furthermore, the president reiterated the need for reform in global governance, a central theme of his G20 presidency. He invited global leaders to participate in the launch of the National Program to Combat Hunger and Poverty in July in Rio de Janeiro.

European leaders were flexible regarding the need for changes in international governance, including the revitalization of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the inclusion of China in the group. Lula highlighted that the need for change in global governance has never been so clear, mentioning the modification of the UN Security Council and the participation of different continents in global decisions.

Another topic discussed was the energy transition, with an emphasis on the use of critical minerals. Lula highlighted that rich countries are willing to help nations with these resources to carry out processing in their own territories, guaranteeing greater added value. “It is a very big innovation and this is unanimous in the G7. It will greatly help Brazil and African countries, which will have to finance an industrialization process,” he said.

Conflict and UN Security Council

Although he did not address the war between Israel and Hamas in his official speech, Lula criticized the inflexibility of the Israeli government, stating that “the Prime Minister of Israel [Benjamin Netanyahu] He doesn’t want to solve the problem, he wants to annihilate the Palestinians.” The president reiterated the need for a change in the UN Security Council to resolve conflicts in the Middle East, defending the implementation of the 1967 territorial decisions.

In a meeting with the president of Switzerland, Viola Amherd, Lula informed that Brazil and China are developing a conciliation proposal for peace between Russia and Ukraine. He stressed the importance of effective negotiation to achieve peace.

Brazil and Italy

Lula also met with the Prime Minister of Italy, Giorgia Meloni, highlighting the historical relationship between the two countries and inviting her to visit Brazil. “I tried to show her the history of the relationship between Brazil and Italy and the importance of her having contact with the almost 230 thousand Italians who live in Brazil”, he said, mentioning the more than 1.4 thousand Italian companies that invest in the country and generate more than 150 thousand jobs.

President Lula (PT) said that he charged the Italian Enel for energy distribution problems in Brazil and received a commitment to increase investment to R$20 billion in three years. Responsible for distributing energy in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Ceará, the company became the target of the Public Ministry after a series of problems that left part of the capital of São Paulo without electricity for several days.

“Instead of investing R$11 billion, they will invest R$20 billion over the next three years, promising that there will be no more blackouts anywhere where he is responsible for energy,” said the president, in a press conference after the G7.


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