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Paraguay, Brazil scrap controversial energy deal



Paraguay and Brazil have cancelled an energy deal after it came under heavy criticism in Paraguay and sparked the resignation of the country’s Foreign Minister.

The cancellation agreement was signed on Thursday by Paraguay’s new Foreign Minister, Antonio Rivas, who succeeded Luis Castiglioni after his resignation earlier, and Brazil’s ambassador to Paraguay, Carlos Simas Magalhaes.

“The energy deal established a timetable for electricity purchases from the Itaipu hydroelectric power plant, a joint venture of the two countries, until 2022. It was signed in May but only made public recently.

“Critics said President Mario Abdo and his Brazilian counterpart, Jair Bolsonaro, had secretly sealed a deal which would cost Paraguay 250 million dollars.

“The scandal on Monday led to the resignation of Castiglioni Alderete, the Paraguayan Director of the binational hydroelectric company Itaipu, Alcides Jimenez, the Head of the state power company ANDE, and Hugo Saguier, Paraguay’s ambassador to Brazil.“

However, the opposition was also preparing to launch impeachment proceedings against Abdo, although it was unclear whether it had a sufficient majority to push them through.

“The two countries will now leave it to technical experts to discuss energy purchases between 2019 and 2022, according to the cancellation agreement, which Paraguay’s Foreign Ministry posted on Twitter.(dpa/NAN)