BRUSSELS – Are you angry at the walloons? cried a French-speaking journalist to Trudeau, when he stepped out of a limousine and walked up the red carpet to the summit.
But Trudeau just smiled and waved, and greeted then warmly at the EU council permanent president Donald Tusk and EUROPEAN commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, who met him at the door.
the Walloon region of Belgium’s semi-autonomous regions, stood to the last against Ceta, the free trade agreement between the EU and Canada that has been in the offing for seven years, primarily because of doubts concerning a mechanism in the agreement that gives the companies the right to sue governments.
Thursday had as the walloons so received enough guarantees to allow the federal government in Brussels to approve the agreement. Trudeau, who would come to Brussels on the same day but cancelled his trip in anticipation of a vallonskt consent, could begin to pack his bags again.
When now both Trudeau and EU leaders have signed on to take the Ceta agreement in force at the end of the year. According to the EUROPEAN commission’s calculations as to the removed duties and other charges on trade between the blocks to strengthen the EU’s economy by up to 20 billion euros per year.
the council building in Brussels is not direct, Versailles, with its grey carpeted floors and colorless, tavelfria drywall. And the cloth on the table that Justin Trudeau and the leaders of the EUROPEAN union sat at the signing of the Ceta agreement was not even scratched. But the ceremonies at the time of signing did not miss.
– All the summits are important, but some summits are more important than others, said Jean-Claude Juncker at a press conference after the ceremony.
Trudeau said to end on the question of the Walloon region:
” don’t Ask me to comment on the complex relationship between the Walloon region and the federal government. We have these days taught us a little bit about how the EU works. From my perspective, the most important lesson learned that the EU works, because we are here today to write on, ” said Trudeau.
Beyond the summit had a hundred demonstrators rallied to protest against an agreement which they believe proves big business power at the expense of workers rights and the environment.
the Demonstrators tried to block entrances, and threw red paint against the building façade. The red color would symbolize that democracy is damaged, bleeds, according to organizers. Riot police arrested 15 people.