15:07 GMT09 April 2020
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    Minister-President of Belgium's French-speaking region of Wallonia, Paul Magnette, said Wednesday he remains opposed to the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and refuses to sign it at the bilateral summit next week which would block the whole deal.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — Calling to postpone the EU-Canada summit scheduled for October 27-28, Magnette told the local Premiere radio station:

    "We will not sign the agreement."

    He added that both sides needed an extra round of "fair negotiations" to ensure European interests before the deal could be signed.

    On Tuesday, the EU Council failed to approve CETA due to Wallonia's demarche. The European Commission set a deadline for Wallonia to approve the deal until Friday, when European leaders are expected to gather in Brussels for the European Council summit.

    CETA aims to establish a free trade zone between Canada and the European Union, scrapping more than 98 percent of the existing tariffs between Ottawa and Brussels. Opponents fear it would undermine standards and regulations on environmental protection, health, safety and workers' rights.

    Related:

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    CETA in Trouble in Belgian Regional Parliaments | UK Gov Accused of Xenophobia
    Canada Views EU's Inability to Sign CETA Trade Deal as Unfortunate Signal
    Some 7,000 Protest Against CETA, TTIP Trade Deals in Warsaw
    Tags:
    Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), Paul Magnette, Wallonia, Belgium
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