Germany: bypassing parliaments on EU-Canada deal ‘foolish’

BERLIN – Germany’s economy minister says preventing national lawmakers from approving a free trade deal between the European Union and Canada would be “foolish.”

Sigmar Gabriel told a German newspaper Wednesday that bypassing parliaments on the so-called CETA agreement would stoke opposition to other free trade deals, including with the United States.

His comments followed reports that the European Commission believes the decision should be taken by Brussels alone.

Gabriel was quoted by Berlin’s Tagesspiegel as saying that “deciding now that national parliaments can’t have a say on this trade agreement is incredibly foolish.”

German media described Juncker’s stance as badly timed in light of growing skepticism among European voters about the EU.

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Wednesday he “personally couldn’t care less” whether lawmakers get to vote on the deal.