Arab Today, arab today ttip a red rag to a bull in germany
Last Updated : GMT 04:56:22
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

TTIP, a red rag to a bull in Germany

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today TTIP, a red rag to a bull in Germany

A protester holds up a sign
Berlin - AFP

Say four simple letters, TTIP, to many Europeans and you're likely to be met with a blank stare.

But in Germany, where resistance to the proposed US-EU free trade pact or Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is fiercest, the response is likely to be a volley of angry words.

In fact, in the whole of Europe, perhaps only in Austria and Luxembourg is the interest and opposition likely to be of a similar magnitude, as a new round of talks -- the ninth since last year -- kicks off in New York on Monday.

According to a YouGov poll published at the end of March, 43 percent of Germans believe that the pact, which has the government's support, would be "bad" for their country, compared with 30 percent who see it as "good."

Out of the seven countries polled, no other showed a similar level of scepticism.

The biggest bones of contention are health and safety standards, notably in the area of food, but also a clause which would allow corporations to sue governments in tribunals that are above national law.

Peter Sparding, a researcher at the German Marshall Fund in Washington, said that "given Germany's position as Europe's largest economy and one the world's leading traders, the debate in Germany has the potential to affect the scope and scale of a final agreement."

- A million signatures -  

In many European countries, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and unions have joined in the anti-TTIP campaign. But in Germany, the scale of the opposition is huge.

Nearly 600 demonstrations are planned worldwide on Saturday in protest against free trade agreements, with more than 200 being held in Germany alone.

And out of 1.7 million signatures collected Europe-wide by the European collective "Stop TTIP", around one million came from Germany -- nearly 10 times as many as in France and 50 times as many as in Italy.

For Maritta Strasser, director of the anti-TTIP campaign at Campact, one of the NGOs behind "Stop TTIP", the extent of the opposition to the pact in Germany was largely due to the fact that it was made a topic of public debate early on.

But other Europeans were gradually waking up to the concerns expressed by Germans, she said.

"The more people know about it, the more they reject it," she said.

Tanja Boerzel, professor in political science at the Free University in Berlin, pointed to "reasons relating to our political culture and our history."

She believed there has long been a "latent anti-Americanism" that is fanning the anti-globalisation debate in Germany and a "fear of casino-capitalism" which many people feel that the United States embodies.

Recent revelations of spying and surveillance by US intelligence services, including the tapping of Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone, have fuelled anti-US sentiment, she said.

- No other worries -

The political left -- including many members of the Social Democrat SPD party -- is particularly critical of the United States.

And since the SPD is part of the ruling coalition with Merkel's conservative CDU-CSU parties, the SPD leadership finds itself in the schizophrenic position of defending a pact which many of its party members reject.

"The specific role of the Social-Democrats makes Germany a bit more predestined than others" to have a big TTIP debate, said Sparding.

And "because it has become a major debate everybody feels they have to take a stance," including the Church, but also professional associations which wouldn't normally get involved in issues of this nature, he said.

Since Germany is one of the world's biggest exporters, it was taken for granted by many that the country would benefit from the pact. And that made TTIP's supporters, particularly business leaders, complacent, observers said.

Last month, the German industry federation BDI was forced to slash its estimate of the economic benefits for Europe of TTIP by a factor of 10.

The BDI had said online that the pact would result in an economic boost of about 100 billion euros ($106 billion) a year for the EU -- roughly the economic benefit other experts forecast over a decade.

Only after repeated questioning by Foodwatch, a non-government group, did the BDI drastically revise down the estimates.

Most observers agree that the strength of the debate in Germany is due to the fact that the German economy is faring so well at the moment.

Jobs are being created, revenues are rising, and so Germans have more time to get involved in debates which many of their neighbours have little time for, said Boerzel.

The French, for example, "have a very different problems at the moment," she said.

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today ttip a red rag to a bull in germany Arab Today, arab today ttip a red rag to a bull in germany

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Mohamed Bahari prepares new collection for spring 2017

GMT 06:15 2017 Monday ,27 February

Mohamed Bahari prepares new collection for spring 2017
Arab Today, arab today 17.4 million tourists visit UAE in 2016

GMT 00:47 2017 Monday ,27 February

17.4 million tourists visit UAE in 2016
Arab Today, arab today Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career

GMT 06:07 2017 Monday ,27 February

Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career
Arab Today, arab today UN envoy sets out framework

GMT 07:25 2017 Monday ,27 February

UN envoy sets out framework
Arab Today, arab today Ayat Abaza says state TV presented major stars

GMT 03:52 2017 Sunday ,26 February

Ayat Abaza says state TV presented major stars
View News in Arabic - Business: قضايا ساخنة
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Penguins in the age of dinos

GMT 11:44 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Penguins in the age of dinos
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today 'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union

GMT 08:54 2017 Saturday ,25 February

'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union
Arab Today, arab today Tesla back into red but revenue grows

GMT 07:27 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Tesla back into red but revenue grows
Arab Today, arab today Reasons for the delay 'On the Stairs of Servants'

GMT 06:42 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Reasons for the delay 'On the Stairs of Servants'
Arab Today, arab today Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 12:16 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 07:23 2017 Friday ,24 February

Ola Ghanem hopes to work with M.Ramadan

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,23 February

UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

GMT 18:23 2017 Friday ,24 February

Fadi explains secrets of  Nancy Ajram's newlook

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 10:51 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Pigs with edited genes show resistance

GMT 14:04 2017 Friday ,24 February

Messi visit will contribute in tourism

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 01:04 2017 Tuesday ,28 February

Nokia 3310 is back — and so is 'Snake'

GMT 22:42 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Nasima Gamei revives heritage in jewelries
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday