16:50 GMT +318 October 2019
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    People march to protest against the planned CETA free trade agreement (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) between the European Union and Canada.

    Greenpeace on Upcoming Signing of CETA Deal: 'Cat is out of the Bag'

    © REUTERS / Agencja Gazeta/Kuba Atys
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    Greenpeace called Sunday on the EU governments to redesign their trade policy and to respect democracy on the threshold of signing the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – On Friday, Greenpeace welcomed Belgium’s commitment to ask the European Court of Justice (ECJ) about legality of the Investment Court System (ICS) contained in CETA. The ICS is a system of protection of investments, which allows corporations to sue governments if their investments are affected bypassing the ECJ and national courts.

    “It will take a lot more than a symbolic handshake and a photo op to impose CETA on Europeans. The cat is out of the bag – Canadian prime minister Trudeau and European governments know that CETA has been seriously wounded now that its true purpose has come to light. This agreement will probably not survive the democratic and legal scrutiny of the ratification process over the coming months. It’s time for our governments to break rank with corporate lobbyists and redesign a trade policy that respects democracy and promotes the public interest,” Greenpeace EU trade policy adviser Shira Stanton said.

    CETA, which is expected to be signed on Sunday, aims to establish a free trade zone between Canada and the European Union. In 2013, Ottawa and Brussels reached an agreement on key elements of the deal. European critics of CETA claim it would undermine standards and regulations on environmental protection, health and safety and workers' rights.

    The agreement was at first blocked by the Belgium’s French-speaking region of Wallonia but on Thursday Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said that the parties had finally managed to reach consensus.

    Related:

    Canada's Trudeau Bound for CETA Signing Turns Around Due to Plane Problems
    Belgian FM Signs CETA After Deal Almost Collapsed Due to Wallonia's Opposition
    EU Council Adopts Decision to Approve CETA Trade Deal With Canada
    UN Expert Warns EU, Canada Against Signing CETA Deal Without Referendums
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    Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), Greenpeace, Europe, Canada
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