Ceta Delay: French Minister Riester Defends Free Trade Treaty, Faces Opposition in Elections

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

Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade Franck Riester has announced that the ratification of Ceta, a free trade treaty between the EU and Canada, will not be transmitted to the National Assembly before the European elections. The treaty has been provisionally applied since 2017. This decision comes after an embarrassing disappointment for the executive, as the Senate opposed the ratification of the treaty on March 21.

The left-right alliance in the Senate caused a setback for the government just before the European elections, leading to communist deputies planning to include the text in their reserved parliamentary time, scheduled for May 30 in the Assembly, just ten days before the European elections. However, it seems that Minister Riester wants to delay this process and place it on a later date. In an interview with Le Figaro, he stated that this bill will be transmitted at an appropriate time but not before the European elections to allow for a peaceful debate and prevent opposition groups from exploiting it for electoral purposes.

Riester criticized this 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 is favorable for France. In case of rejection by National Assembly , government would face complex situation with potential consequences for provisional application of treaty across Europe

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