Original source: Euractiv
Criticised by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker during the signature of CETA, the president of Walloon party CDH, Benoît Lutgen, has repeated that there had been insinuations about negative consequences for the region if it continued to veto the trade treaty with Canada.
At the press conference following the signature of CETA yesterday (30 October), Juncker attacked Lutgen over his statements that there had been pressure on Wallonia. He also invited Belgium “to reflect over the way of functioning” over the signature of international treaties.
Fot ten days the Walloon government fiercely opposed the CETA signing, thus preventing the Belgian federal government from giving the green light, as had the other 27 member states of the Union. Belgium has a total of seven parliaments and each one can block international treaties.
Belgium has a total of seven parliaments and each one can block international treaties.
The Walloon government is composed of the French-speaking Socialist party and of Centre Démocrate Humaniste (CDH, a force affiliated to the centre-right EPP). Juncker thanked the leader of the socialists Paul Magnette, who is also the prime minister of Wallonia, for having acknowledged the constructive role of the Commission over the issue.
“We never threatened Wallonia, and I say this (to the attention) of the CDH and its president,” said Juncker.
Lutgen replied to Juncker in the course of the day.
“I did not have Juncker in mind especially when I said that there was pressure, but yes, there was. There were insinuations, we were made to understand that there would be consequences for Wallonia,” said Lutgen.
“Jean-Claude wake up! It’s amazing that Wallonia has to fight alone against the multinationals, and the same thing over farmers,” Lutgen said. “We don’t want a Europe of multinationals”, the CDH leader added…