Another Europe is possible

Economic partnership with Eastern and Southern Africa would be damaging to region

16/01/2013

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Ahead of a European Parliament debate on a future 'EC-Eastern and Southern Africa States Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)', GUE/NGL MEP Helmut Scholz said: "The Commission celebrates this first interim EPA to be applied in Africa as a major achievement in relations between Africa and the EU, but in fact most African governments consider the demands brought forward by the Commission in the negotiations as unacceptable."

"This economic partnership agreement does not deserve that name. It serves the trade interests of the EU at the expense of development objectives," continued Scholz. "The customs revenues to be lost will tear big holes in the budgets of Madagascar, Mauritius, the Seychelles and Zimbabwe."

He adds: "This EPA excludes the signatory states from accession to a future customs union with other African countries and cements the role of the EU as the most important export destination for agricultural commodities."

Describing the EPA as a "return to a colonialist worldview", Scholz called on all MEPs to follow the recommendation of the Development committee and refuse to give their consent in tomorrow's vote.

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