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Trade deal ‘will force privatisation of Irish Water’

Date Released: 06 November 2015

EU TRADE deals such as CETA and TTIP are a threat to Irish water, public services, food standards, environment and democracy, international experts will tell a Dublin audience Monday.

International CETA Speaking Tour Monday 9th November, 7.30 p.m. Liberty Hall, Dublin 1

World-renowned Canadian author and activist Maude Barlow, a former senior UN advisor on water and an expert on Canada’s recently completed agreement with the EU, will be the main speaker at an event at Liberty Hall, Monday at 7.30pm. [A more detailed biographical note on Barlow is below.]

That deal, called the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA), is the less well-known cousin of TTIP, the EU-US ‘free’ trade and investment deal currently being drafted. Negotiations on CETA are closed: if adopted by the European parliament early next year, it would allow companies to sue governments for compensation in a private arbitration called ISDS when they say that laws interfere with their profits.

Barry Finnegan, one of the meeting’s organisers, said: “The completed CETA trade deal is the first EU treaty to include an approach to services liberalisation through ‘negative lists’. This means that all categories of the services sector, including water, education and health, will be opened to competition and competitive private-sector tendering, except those services that have been explicitly excluded in the ‘negative list’ at the start of negotiations.

“The text of CETA, now available online, clearly shows that the Irish Government has not excluded water, health or education services from the enforced privatisation and tendering rules of CETA,” Finnegan said.

Barlow is joined at Monday’s event by Patricia King, general secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), and Polly Jones, head of policy and campaigns at Global Justice Now.

Barlow is speaking around Europe on a tour coordinated by Global Justice Now. It has included Dundee (Nov. 1), Leeds (Nov. 3), London (Nov. 5), Oxford (Nov. 6), Cardiff (Nov. 7). After Dublin on Monday, she moves on to Madrid (Nov. 10-11), Barcelona (Nov. 12), Vienna (Nov. 16-17), Karlsruhe (Nov. 24-25) and Paris (Nov. 29).

Monday’s event is co-organised by Attac Ireland, Peoples' Movement, and TTIP Information Network.

For further information, see http://www.attac.ie/event/international-ceta-speaking-tour/


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