A small victory against the transatlantic neofeudalism
CETA deal postponed thanks to Wallonia!
Belgium cannot sign a key EU trade deal with Canada, Prime Minister Charles Michel has said, because of objections led by its Wallonia region.
Mr Michel said talks with Wallonia and two other elected bodies had failed.
His comments appeared to dash hopes the Ceta deal could be signed on Thursday but European Council President Donald Tusk said it was still possible.
This is the EU’s most ambitious free trade deal to date but Belgium needs its regions’ approval to sign it.
Mr Michel said he had told Mr Tusk that Belgium could not sign Ceta (the acronym for the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement).
The other 27 EU governments want to sign the agreement, which has been in the pipeline for seven years.
The European Commission had set Belgium a Monday deadline to make its decision on the deal.
For the deal to pass, Belgium’s federal, regional and community bodies (seven in all) must give their approval.
Wallonia, a staunchly socialist region of 3.6 million people, has led objections to the deal, demanding stronger safeguards on labour, environmental and consumer standards.
But at talks with Mr Martin on Monday, it emerged that two other bodies, Brussels and that of the French-speaking community, also opposed Ceta.
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