Ceta Ratification Delayed: How France’s Political Schemes are Holding Back Trade and Business

Franck Riester announces no vote in National Assembly before European elections on Ceta

On Tuesday, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade Franck Riester announced that the draft ratification of Ceta, a free trade treaty between the EU and Canada, will not be transmitted to the National Assembly before the European elections. This decision comes after an embarrassing disappointment for the executive, as the Senate opposed the ratification of the treaty on March 21.

Riester criticized the alliance between communist group and some LR senators in Senate, calling it a political scheme that harms businesses, farmers, wine growers, cheese producers and all those working in French companies exporting to Canada. He defended the benefits of Ceta agreement which eliminates most customs duties between EU and Canada and is favorable for France.

In an interview with Le Figaro, Riester stated that bill will be transmitted at appropriate time but not before European elections to allow peaceful debate. He emphasized need to prevent opposition groups from exploiting debate for electoral purposes. Following this announcement, communist deputies planned to include text in reserved parliamentary time scheduled for May 30 in Assembly just ten days before European elections but government seemed to want delay process and place text on Assembly table at later time.

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