Uruguay. The conflict with Argentina over the
Finnish-built pulp mill on the Uruguay border, which
characterized the two countries' relations in 2006,
continued this year, despite, among other things. mediation
attempt by Spain's King Juan Carlos. Argentine environmental
activists, who claim the plant poses an environmental threat
to the Uruguay River, continued to block the bridges across
the river and hundreds of land steps even on the Uruguayan
side in protests at the end of August/September. According
to CountryAAH, President Tabaré Vázquez, in turn,
closed the Uruguayan border stations in early November. A
month later, the first shipload of paper left the pulp mill,
and from Argentine government circles were heard voices
stating that the factory is now in place and operational.
The factory represents the largest single foreign investment
ever in Uruguay.
On July 9, the government approved a proposal for
comprehensive administrative decentralization reforms. Among
other things, a hundred new municipalities will be created
to engage citizens politically in local issues.