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05 June, 2017

Hundreds protest against CETA in Madrid

People from over 400 trade unions and social organizations took part in the protest to demand that the Spanish Government block the free trade deal.

Activists filled the streets of Madrid on Saturday to protest the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada.

Hundreds marched from Madrid’s largest railway station, Atocha, to the Congress of Deputies – which is scheduled to vote on CETA later in June.

People from over 400 trade unions and social organizations took part in the protest to demand that the Spanish Government block the free trade deal. Some demonstrators displayed placards which read, “Democracy and public services are not sold but defended,” and "Against Europe of inequalities.”

While others carried anti-CETA banners accompanied by tractors from farmers and ranchers’ organization. There were even signs with: “Stop TTIP,” referring to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the EU and the U.S. TTIP, which has also been met with fierce public criticism, bears some similarities to CETA.

Ecologists in Action representative, Francesca Ricciardi, told Ruptly that CETA was “All for the benefit of trade, but of course, to the detriment of citizens' rights, we are talking about respect for environmental standards, respect for trade union rights... basic rights of the people."

Following seven years of negotiations, the bloc voted in favor of CETA, ignoring widespread protests across Europe.

The deal, they say, is designed to “create new opportunities for EU companies,” by reducing tariffs and increasing trade and investment.

But, those who oppose the deal believe it will upset the European environmental, labor and consumer standards, resulting in increased unemployment.

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