|Published : 18 Oct 2016, 21:15:11|
EU, Belgium looking at summit for solution Canada trade deal
LUXEMBOURG, Oct 18 (AP): The leader of a small Belgian region who holds the key to the approval of a wide-ranging trade deal between the 28-nation European Union and Canada said he will need a few more days to study new proposals aimed at overcoming his objections.
Instead of EU approval on Tuesday, as first planned, the issue could well go to a two-day summit of government leaders starting Thursday.
Under the EU's complicated approval system, the fate of the trans-Atlantic deal depends on all regions in Belgium approving the deal, leaving some local governments representing only a few million people with the power to scuttle a deal affecting over 500 million EU citizens and 35 million Canadians.
Belgium's national government, which strongly backs the deal, in consultation with EU officials, has been frantically looking to overturn the resistance by Wallonia, population 3.5 million, and the executive office of the capital, Brussels, to save a deal that took seven years to negotiate and has backing from all the other EU nations.
Wallonia's Minister-President Paul Magnette told the RTL network he was studying new proposals to bring his region in line with the other nations.