Costa Rican unions condition FTA with Europe

21 June 2006

Costa Rican Unions Condition FTA with Europe

San Jose, Jun 21 (Prensa Latina) Costa Rican trade union leaders on Wednesday said that that they will support the Association Treaty with the European Union for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), but ruled out any similarity with US-sponsored accords.

Jorge Arguedas, coordinator of the Internal Front of Workers of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), pointed out that in the negotiations with that country, "they gave away our entire patrimony, reflected in natural resources and in biodiversity".

Arguedas told local reporters that the European Union "has struggled to preserve internal assistance and subsidies to its agricultural producers, which places us in great disadvantage within the framework of the World Trade Organization".

For his part, Edgar Morales, of the National Association of Public Servants, recalled how "Social Democracy was given away during the negotiations with the United States".

This time, the agreements that jeopardize Costa Rican democracy and sovereignty will not be approved, he stressed.

In that regard, he called the government to "defend the interests and sovereignty of the peoples as MERCOSUR’s member countries do".

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source: Prensa Latina