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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.

    French President Hollande Hopes to Come to Agreement on CETA

    © REUTERS / Agencja Gazeta/Kuba Atys
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    French President Francois Hollande said on Friday he hoped that the EU member states would come to consensus to sign the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada.

    PARIS (Sputnik) – The European Union cannot sign CETA now because Belgium's French-speaking region of Wallonia refused to support the agreement.

    "I hope we will manage to come to agreement," Hollande told journalists after the EU summit in Brussels.

    He also said that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement would not be signed this year as it was not well balanced and infringed on the interests of the European countries.

    "Of course, we will continue discussions with the new US administration [after presidential elections] but no date can be mentioned," Hollande said.

    CETA aims to establish a free trade zone between Canada and the European Union, though it has been criticized in Europe. Opponents fear it would undermine standards and regulations on environmental protection, health, safety and workers' rights.

    TTIP, negotiations on which have been ongoing since 2013, seeks to establish a free trade zone between the United States and the European Union. Since the start of the talks, the deal has drawn severe criticism for the lack of transparency. Its opponents also express concern over the tremendous power it would potentially give to international corporations and the fact that it could seriously violate ecological standards.

    Related:

    Belgium's Wallonia Reiterates Opposition to CETA Deal With Canada
    European Council President Fears CETA to Be EU's Last Free Trade Deal
    Brussels Regional Parliament Likely to Follow Wallonia's Case, Reject CETA
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    European Union, Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), Francois Hollande, France
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