Federal Council: Left refuse to approve Ceta

Before the Federal Council voted on the Ceta trade agreement with Canada, the left renewed its criticism.

Federal Council: Left refuse to approve Ceta

Before the Federal Council voted on the Ceta trade agreement with Canada, the left renewed its criticism. The four federal states with left-wing government participation would not agree on Friday, according to a statement by the party and parliamentary group leaders and left-wing government representatives from Berlin, Bremen, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Thuringia. However, this will not stop a vote by the state chamber for Ceta.

The left is particularly concerned about the legal options for foreign investors, the so-called investment court system. "As left-wingers, we are of the opinion that it must be sufficient for domestic and foreign investors, if in doubt, to have their legal claim for compensation clarified in the German court system," the paper says.

The Bundestag approved the EU treaty with Canada in early December after years of debate. However, parts of Ceta have been in force provisionally since September 2017. Investment protection in particular was a controversial issue for the Greens for years.

Trade pact for corporate interests?

Ceta is intended to facilitate trade between companies in the EU and Canada by eliminating almost all customs duties and common rules. According to earlier information from the EU Commission, European companies could save around 590 million euros a year as a result of the agreement. One of the criticisms of the trade pact is that it unilaterally protects corporate interests to the detriment of the climate, environment and social issues.

Left leader Martin Schirdewan criticized that the Greens had "exchanged their banners for suits". His co-boss Janine Wissler warned that agreements like Ceta would endanger labor rights, democracy, climate and environmental protection. "They give undemocratic arbitral tribunals the power to judge democratic decisions."

Even if Ceta now clears the last parliamentary hurdle in Germany, the investor protection clauses are still on hold until ratification has been completed everywhere. According to the left, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Slovenia, Hungary, Cyprus as well as Canada and the EU are still missing.

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