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Council of Canadians sends letter to Greek government about CETA

George Katrougalos, Maude Barlow and Thanassis Petrakos

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow has written George Katrougalos, the Deputy Minister for Administrative Reform with the new Syriza government in Greece.

The deputy minister recently commented, “I can assure you that a Parliament where Syriza holds the majority will never ratify the [United States-European Union Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership] deal. And this will be a big gift not only to the Greek people but to all the European people.”

Barlow tells Katrougalos, “It is our hope that your government’s vow to reject TTIP will also extend to rejecting the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).” She writes that she expects this is likely given Syriza MP Thanassis Petrakos has previously stated, in reference to CETA, that “A Syriza-led government will veto the agreement.”

And she highlights, “The Canada-EU agreement includes the same investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision as TTIP. And, as you undoubtedly know, even if investor-state were to be removed from TTIP, European countries would still be vulnerable to these lawsuits given the large number of U.S. corporations that have offices in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and other Canadian cities. As such, ISDS must be opposed in both TTIP and CETA, the two deals need to be fought together.”

Barlow also expresses her willingness to meet with the deputy minister to further discuss this issue.

To read Barlow’s letter in Greek click here and in English here.