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Germany's Die Linke Party to Bring CETA Into Election Debate

© REUTERS / Francois LenoirDemonstrators protest against CETA outside the EU summit in Brussels, Belgium, October 20, 2016
Demonstrators protest against CETA outside the EU summit in Brussels, Belgium, October 20, 2016 - Sputnik International
Germany's left-wing Die Linke party will do everything to make the EU-Canadian Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) an issue in the upcoming parliamentary elections and block its ratification, Fabio De Masi, a Die Linke member of the European Parliament told Sputnik on Wednesday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, the European Parliament voted in favor of CETA ratification by a margin of 408 to 254. Despite still having to be ratified by all member states, the deal can be provisionally applied from the start of April, according to the parliament.

"The battle isn't over yet, parliaments in the European Union still have to approve CETA. Die Linke is vehemently against CETA and will try everything to stop it from being implemented and will fight to make CETA a topic in the German election," De Masi, who is also a member of EU parliament's European United Left–Nordic Green Left group, said.

Germany’s parliamentary elections are due to be held on September 24. Die Linke is highly critical of the free trade deal and had urged its supporters to campaign against the secrecy which surrounded CETA negotiations.

A number of other parties in other EU countries are also opposed to the trade deal and pressure against CETA will only mount, he added.

"More than 2,000 cities, regions and organizations have declared themselves to be "CETA-and TTIP-free-zones" and in countries like the Netherlands and Austria public protest is large," the politician said, also recalling the similar EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which is still in the negotiations stage.

CETA "destroys jobs and endangers employee's rights, the environment, consumer protection and public property," the lawmaker warned.

European Parliament flag - Sputnik International
EU Parliament's Approval of CETA Blow to Environment - Greenpeace
The deal was signed in late 2016 by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. The European Commission, pressured by France and Germany, has stated that the agreement would also have to be ratified by all 28 EU member states, as well as the European parliament.

CETA aims to establish a free trade zone between Canada and the European Union. It has been criticized for undermining environmental protection, health and safety regulation and workers' rights.

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