Fidesz votes in line with multinational corporate interests

"It is a clear commitment to multinational corporations over the interests of European citizens," commented MEP Zoltán Balczó on the European Parliament's vote in favour of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). 

In his press conference on Friday, the politician said: EP President Martin Schulz failed to allow for a real debate or even asking questions. Jobbik's MEP believes the free trade agreement currently negotiated by the EU and the United States is unfavourable for Europe because the partners are not nearly equal in terms of the economy. He says the proposal is all about extending the rights of multinational corporations, in fact. 

It would enable corporations to sue countries on the grounds of "profit loss" and demand compensation accordingly. Balczó emphasized: even though the EP rejected the idea of private courts proceeding the disputes between countries and multinational companies, the recommendation now supported by the EP would still take decision rights out of member states' jurisdiction. According to the resolution, a body specifically established for this purpose would proceed in these cases, which would restrict national sovereignty just as much. 


The politician stated that the argument of the TTIP creating jobs was just an illusion. He reminded the public that the similar free trade agreement of Canada, the USA and Mexico actually increased unemployment instead of reducing it. He believes that the idea of the agreement potentially benefiting small and medium enterprises is baseless, too. 87 per cent of them sells to internal markets, so instead of EU-based SMEs entering the US market, capital-intensive US-based multinational corporations will squeeze them out of the European market.

Balczó believes Washington's primary goal is to get genetically manipulated seeds into the EU by way of the TTIP. To support his argument, he quoted the study made by a non-governmental organization  called Friends of the Earth Europe, which says the biggest pressure on the US delegation was exercised by the alliance of corporations dealing with GMO technology. In Balczó's opinion, the greatest concern about genetically manipulated plants imported from overseas is that while the EU applies the principle of caution (meaning that the product cannot be marketed until it is proven not to be dangerous), the US procedure is just the opposite (meaning that any product can be marketed until it is proven to be dangerous).


In Balczó's view, the fact that Fidesz, the Socialists and the Democratic Coalition voted for the TTIP was a clear indication that the protection of multinational corporate interests is more important for them than their own citizens. He added that none of the 12 Fidesz MEPs spoke in the debate, they even failed to show up for it. 

He reminded the media that the Hungarian government made a promise in the National Assembly that the parliament would refuse to ratify the TTIP, if it is "not in line with the Hungarian interest." However, we will not have a chance for such a decision unless the agreement is classified by Brussels as "miscellaneous legislation." If it does not happen, the agreement may enter into force without the ratification by member states. 


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