EU-Canada free trade agreement: opponents stage protest march in Paris

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 04:24 GMT, Oct 16, 2016 |

Protesters marched in Paris on Saturday (Oct 15) against the planned Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union and Canada, which is set to be signed on October 27 in Brussels.

According to organisers, the “Stop TAFTA collective”, an alliance of various associations, environmental groups, labour unions and political opposition parties, 5,000 people took part in the demonstration.

Protesters said the agreement would deteriorate democracy, harm agriculture and public services, lower food safety along with environmental, labour and health standards while allowing big businesses to challenge governments across Europe.

“If we accept a CETA that does not protect the right of citizens and consumers; if we accept a CETA that allows foreign investors to contest public decisions, we lose in democracy, and we especially create a precedent for other similar types of agreements, including with the United States, and this is not acceptable,” said executive director of the Foodwatch association in France, Karine Jacquemart.

EU trade ministers will vote on Tuesday (Oct 18) on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which requires unanimous support to enter force.