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Shady TiSA deal condemned by protesters

14 June 2016
While negotiators and ambassadors met in secret to discuss the ongoing Trade in Services Agreement at the EU mission in Geneva, a coalition of international trade unionists and local activists rallied outside, calling for an end to the shady negotiations.

Over forty protesters, with signs reading “Why So Secret?” and “No Trade in Public Services,” blocked the road, singing in multiple languages as the negotiators attempted to pass.

Daniel Bertossa, Director of Policy and Governance at Public Services International, addressed the rally saying

“Wikileaks has become the public’s only method of learning about the real content of these deals. We demand transparency and accountability.”

Recent leaks of some parts of the TiSA negotiating text have shown the deal would work to promote privatization of public services and could limit governments’ ability to legislate in the public interest in areas such as workers’ rights and climate change. A PSI analysis of the Energy Services Chapter released last week drew condemnation of the talks from a range of civil society organisations.

Susan Cohen Jehoram, International TTIP campaigner at Greenpeace said “this leak shows that TiSA, like other trade agreements, includes measures that tie the hands of the very policy makers who are trying to implement the Paris climate agreement”. The protest in Geneva, covered in the Swiss press, is part of a growing international movement against TiSA which has already influenced Uruguay and Paraguay to leave the negotiations.

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