Rome

Majority will reject CETA says Di Maio

'Serious mistake' says Confindustria, free trade good says Tria

Majority will reject CETA says Di Maio

Rome, July 13 - The ruling populist majority will reject the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) free-trade deal between the EU and Canada, Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio said Friday, a move that was slammed by an important employers group. He said the CETA, which came into force on September 21 and is now being ratified by EU members, would "have to arrive in this chamber for ratification and this majority will reject it". Di Maio said that if Italian "functionaries" try to defend the free-trade deal they "will be removed from their posts". As well as being deputy premier, Di Maio is also labour and industry minister. He is the leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), one of two government partners along with the anti-migrant Euroskeptic League party of Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. Vincenzo Boccia, the head of industrial employers' group Confindustria, said not ratifying CETA would be a "serious mistake". He said "CETA is in Italy's interests because we are a country with a high export vocation and we create wealth through exports". Boccia went on: "If with this treaty Italy exports more it is in the national interest, if it exports less then no. "According to the data, it appears objectively to me that the treaty opens up to Italy and does not close down. "You have to interpret the data in a logic of country and not category". Economy Minister Giovanni Tria said "I have not followed the dossier", adding that "the devil is in the details". He said "my personal opinion is that free trade, which is extended also through trade deals, is always a good thing, but you have to see how these accords are made".

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