World Bulletin / News Desk
Germany's top court on Thursday gave the government the go-ahead to approve a planned EU-Canada free trade deal, in a setback for activists who had sought to block the agreement.
The Constitutional Court did set certain conditions however, stipulating that Germany may only commit to the so-called CETA deal if it wins assurances that it can quit the accord later if told to do so by the court.
Some 200,000 citizens, campaigners and leftist politicians had asked the court in the southwestern city of Karlsruhe to rule against the pact, arguing that the process had been undemocratic because no approval was given by parliament.
The ruling, which followed an emergency hearing on Wednesday, paves the way for the government to formally endorse CETA at an EU ministers' meeting on October 18.
The agreement is then scheduled to be signed at an EU-Canada summit on October 27, allowing CETA to be partially implemented before it's been ratified by national parliaments -- a process that could take years.
Germany's vice-chancellor and economy minister Sigmar Gabriel welcomed the court's decision.
"I am pleased that we are taking a big step towards giving rules to globalisation. That's what this is all about," he told reporters.
It would have sent "a difficult signal to the rest of the world" if the deal had been derailed by Germany, he added.Last Mod: 13 Ekim 2016, 14:14