The city council of Madrid says NO to CETA and TTIP

The city council of Madrid says NO to CETA and TTIP

The city council of the third-largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin (with a population of almost 3.2 million), decided to vote a resolution against TTIP and CETA.

Following excerpt taken from El Pais article by Belen Dominguez Cebrian

The cities of Seville, Zaragoza, Segovia, Valladolid, Barcelona, Lleida, Castellón de la Plana, Valencia, Mérida, Lugo, Pontevedra, Santiago de Compostela – and soon Madrid as well, according to economy councilor Carlos Sánchez Mato— have added their names to the 146 municipalities that are expressing opposition to the deal by declaring themselves “TTIP-free Zones.”

Most of these local governments are controlled by Podemos or by sister groups.

Meanwhile, up to 270 unions, environmental associations and anti-globalization groups are working to stop the agreement before it gets signed.

Lola Sánchez, a member of the European Parliament for Podemos, explains that it is difficult for citizens to discuss the treaty because most politicians are not talking about it in public either, whether to defend it or criticize it.

“We need to do a lot more campaigning in rural areas. Many producers have trouble understanding the implications of this treaty,” says Jorge Luis Bail, of the green group Confluencia por Aragón (Equo).

The way each Spanish region views the TTIP depends largely on what drives the regional economy. Farmers and cattle breeders feel that their sector is particularly sensitive to the entry of US products that undergo fewer food safety controls than European ones.

Andalusians are “very concerned about the future of livestock breeding and agriculture,” says Alejandro Aguilar, a 32-year-old without a job who represents the “No to TTIP” movement in the southern Spanish region.

“There is great concern over the loss of jobs,” he says, adding that producers are particularly worried about the future of Spanish food products with Denominación de Origen – a quality guarantee similar to France’s Appellation d’Origine.

COAG, an umbrella group for farmers and livestock breeders representing thousands of people, wants Spanish political parties to take a clear stand against the treaty.

“We don’t believe that the jobs generated by the TTIP will make up for those that will be lost,” said secretary general Miguel Blanco, who believes that small and medium businesses will suffer the most.