Finnish minister proposes Brazil beef ban over Amazon fires

Protesters with a banner that reads "Bolsonaro we've got beef!" block a street at a climate change demonstration in London on August 23, 2019; Finland is now weighing a Brazilian beef ban over Amazon fires (AFP Photo/ISABEL INFANTES)

Helsinki (AFP) - Finland will propose a ban on Brazilian beef imports to protest over Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro's response to massive Amazon fires, the country's finance minister said on Friday.

French President Emmanuel Macron is leading international pressure on Bolsonaro over the Amazon rainforest fires, threatening to block a major trade deal with the EU.

Finland's Finance Minister Mika Lintila condemned the destruction of rainforests and proposed "the EU and Finland urgently look into the option of banning the import of Brazilian beef".

Finland currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Council.

"Now we need effective action from the EU... I am ready to raise the issue with my EU Finance Minister colleagues who will be coming to Helsinki in September, if there is no progress before then," Lintila said.

The fires in the world's largest rainforest have sparked protests around the planet and ignited a war of words between Bolsonaro and Macron, who has described the wildfires as an "international crisis".