Malta Today | 26 October 2014
Anti-TTIP Front condemns government for supporting free trade proposal
Social Europe: Front Against TTIP (Malta) condemned the government for supporting the proposed Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, while discussions on the free trade agreement are still ongoing between the European Union and the United States.
“Ironically, the government took a position blindly. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a series of trade negotiations that are being carried out mostly in secret,” a Front statement said.
Economy Minister Chris Cardona said that the TTIP agreement has the potential of improving commerce between the European Union and the United States, which will stimulate economic growth in both regions. However, the Front Against TTIP (Malta) say that the TTIP will give multinational corporations the right to take action against democratically-elected national governments through the bypassing of national and European courts.
The Front also criticised the government for supporting other EU member states in calling upon the European Commissioner not to remove the investor-to-state dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS) from the TTIP.
“The ISDS mechanism will give multinationals too much power,” the Front said. “ISDS will allow foreign corporations to bypass national courts and settle disputes with governments through international arbitration. ISDS will transfer regulatory competence from democratic institutions to unelected technocratic institutions”.
The Front are also concerned that the TTIP could result in the privitisation of public services to the detriment of public service standards, workers’ and consumers’ rights and the environment.
“The TTIP should not allow the liberalisation and privatisation of public services such as health, culture, water, social services and education, and it should not reduce political autonomy on cultural productions, educational activities and local policies.”
The Front against TTIP (Malta) has been set up by Żminijietna - Voice of the Left, the Anti-Poverty Alliance, Moviment Graffitti, Association of Federative Socialists; and GWU Youth.