A PRESSURE group in the Balearic Islands campaigning against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Pact (TTIP) has warned of the 'dangers' of its sister treaty, the CETA, for the region's economy.
The Anti-TTIP Association (Plataforma contra el Tratado Transatlántico de Comercio e Inversiones) has met with top-flight regional government officials to explain how the Canadian Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) could 'damage the Balearic economy, health, environment and democratic decision-making ability'.
The Association believes the CETA will 'put the welfare of the people' in the hands of 'multi-national corporate interests'.
It managed to convince the Balearic government to set up an investigation commission to identify the possible consequence of the CETA for the region.
Meanwhile, the campaign group No al TTIP Mallorca has warned its regional Parliament of the risks of joining a pact which has, in the words of its spokeswoman Sandy Hemingway, been 'kept secret for years' and 'only discovered thanks to Wikileaks'.
Hemingway and her association say the CETA, a deal already signed but not yet in force, will cause an 'invasion' of Canadian products in the Balearic market – products which 'often fail to meet European health and safety standards', meaning they are much cheaper than local goods.
This and the fact that a high amount of agricultural produce will be among the freely-traded exports could mean undercutting local producers, putting them out of business, Hemingway says.
According to the Anti-TTIP Association, the CETA is 'a threat to democratic institutions', since national and local decision-making capacity takes a back seat to the interests of multi-national corporations, allowing company concerns to overrule political or democratic decisions.
Some of the methods for doing so include 'special, privileged courts for investors' which 'allow them to leapfrog the judicial system' and play by their own rules, the Anti-TTIP Association fears.