The Malta Independent 20 January 2022, Thursday

Updated: PN MEPs say Alfred Sant voted against Joseph Muscat’s wishes; Sant explains vote

Thursday, 16 February 2017, 13:14 Last update: about 6 years ago

The MEPs representing the Nationalist Party said today that their Labour counterpart Alfred Sant voted against the wishes of the Prime Minister.

In a statement, MEPs David Casa, Roberta Metsola and Therese Comodini Cachia welcomed the adoption by the European Parliament with an overwhelming majority of the Trade Agreement with Canada.

"This agreement paves the way for more opportunities for Maltese entrepreneurs and consumers. Canada is a like-minded state with an open market with high standards and affluent consumers presenting opportunities for Malta especially considering that there are over 50,000 first and second generation Maltese in Canada.

Most importantly, this agreement opens up the Canadian market to Maltese business which may now participate in public procurement in Canada at all levels of government from local to regional and national.

The Labour head of the Labour Delegation Alfred Sant voted against the agreement and shows that Dr Sant is seemingly in conflict with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, the PN MEPs said Where does the Labour Party stand on international trade? Do they stand for jobs and growth or will they continue trying to be everything to everyone?” asked the PN MEPs.

Explaining his vote, former Prime Minister Alfred Sant told the European Parliament that as a Socialist he finds it impossible to ignore the voices raised among trade unions and civil society representatives in Europe -  as well as in Canada - who have claimed that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) as an agreement is not a good one. “I would further argue that this also holds for CETA as a template for future trade and investment agreements by the EU. I have therefore voted against its approval.” Said the Maltese MEP when explaning why he voted against the approval of the free trade agreement between the EU and Canada.

I fully accept that Canada is a country which shares the EU’s democratic values and with which the EU should promote the best political and economic relations possible. However CETA is an inadequate tool by which to achieve this objective, not least because it will serve as a template for future similar relations with other, stronger, more economically significant powers and regions. We live at times when globalisation urgently needs to be managed in the interests of those who are least in the position to defend their situation and their future. The CETA template will not help to do so. It will furher enhance the process by which the global economy is being oligopolised. In turn, this will further strengthen the power of the emerging global oligopolies.” Remarked the Maltese MEP.

 

The European Parliament  approved the agreement with 408 votes in favour, 254 against and 33 abstentions. The agreement is expected to be applied provisionally from as early as April 2017.

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