Seeking a royal resolution

Dan Grech Apr 19, 2007


SCOTT JAGOW: Two South American countries are fighting over a $1 billion paper plant. Uruguay’s building the plant. Argentina says it’ll pollute the river they share. Since the neighbors can’t see eye-to-eye, they’ve asked somebody from another neighborhood to mediate. Dan Grech reports from our Americas Desk at WLRN.

DAN GRECH: Can’t settle a dispute? Go to the King of Spain.

King Juan Carlos is hosting two days of talks to get Uruguay and Argentina to kiss and make up. Analyst Christian Stracke is with the research firm Credit Sights.

CHRISTIAN STRACKE: The King of Spain has a record of wanting to be a peacemaker in the region. He’s seen as a neutral arbiter.

Stracke says the King will have to massage Argentina’s bruised ego. That’s because the much-smaller Uruguay secured the $1.2 billion paper plant.

STRACKE: The plant could just as well have been placed on the Argentine side of the border, rather than on the Uruguayan side. But it was Uruguay that got the deal, and Argentina is left having to protest.

Even with this royal intervention, the protests will likely go on. A massive demonstration is planned in Argentina for April 29.

I’m Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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