Austria’s Federal Chancellor Kern has announced a member questioning in the SPÖ to CETA. The result should be a rejection. The Austrian Chancellor Kern said he was prepared to hold a conflict with the EU.
This will be the next conflict within the EU that Austria is triggering. That will be so, “said Austria’s Federal Chancellor Christian Kern to the ORF. “These free trade agreements actually bring about a massive shift in power for the benefit of globally operating corporations under the cover of free trade, and democratic co-determination, which is a fundamental web defect”. In the end, one had to focus on the fact that “democratic participation in the shaping of our economy remains possible and that we are not shifting the power relations to global corporations”.
Kern announced on Friday in Vienna a member questioning in the SPÖ to the CETA agreement. In view of the resistance that had been formulated so far, it was a signing of Austria, without having been so thoroughly explained and punctured point by point. This is not a populist reflex, but a broad movement against CETA. The outcome of this survey is, however, clear: the majority of the SPÖ members are unlikely to answer yes to the question asked whether to vote for CETA if there is a danger that European standards will be lowered.
Austria is particularly critical of the planned free trade agreement between the EU and the USA (TTIP). CETA, however, contains similar points, Kern said. He did not go into details. He is expected to comment extensively on TTIP at a press conference.
According to surveys, the agreements are also very different in the European population. In Austria, the rejection is particularly large. Many fear that rules for food safety might be softened. Supporters reject this.
In Germany, the CETA agreement does not apply to the government’s opposition. On the other hand, Minister of Economic Affairs, Sigmar Gabriel, has declared the negotiations on TTIP practically unsuccessful. Chancellor Angela Merkel, the EU Commission, and the US have rejected this presentation. Advocates of the agreements hope to create many jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.
In Germany too, criticism of CETA has intensified once again. A complaint was filed with the Federal Constitutional Court, signed by 125,000 citizens. There is no doubt that CETA is harmful to democracy and must, therefore, be rejected. Before the Federal Constitutional Court, we want to clarify whether the agreement is still in breach of the Basic Law, “said Foodwatch CEO Thilo Bode.
However, the EU Commission continues to adhere to the agreement. And the opposition is also not so great at the European Parliament. Germany and Austria play a special role here. “The agreement brings clear economic benefits,” says Artis Pabrikis (EPP), the rapporteur of the European Parliament on the free trade agreement CETA. “These benefits are quite substantial because the EU’s prosperity is very much linked to its trading activity and the possibility of a trade. “The agreement would create more jobs and, in particular, support small and medium-sized enterprises which are the backbone of the economy.
On 17 September there will still be protests against TTIP and CETA across Europe. Attac called accordingly in Austria:
“We want to prevent TTIP and CETA as they contain various critical points, such as investor-state arbitration and regulations on regulatory co-operation, which undermine democracy and the rule of law. We want to prevent the reduction of labor, social, environmental, data protection and consumer protection standards in intransparent negotiations, as well as deregulating public services (eg water supply) and cultural property. ”