13 Luglio 2018
Rome, July 13 - The ruling populist majority will reject the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) free-trade deal between the EU and Canada, Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio said Friday, a move that was slammed by an important employers group. He said the CETA, which came into force on September 21 and is now being ratified by EU members, would "have to arrive in this chamber for ratification and this majority will reject it". Di Maio said that if Italian "functionaries" try to defend the free-trade deal they "will be removed from their posts". As well as being deputy premier, Di Maio is also labour and industry minister. He is the leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), one of two government partners along with the anti-migrant Euroskeptic League party of Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. Vincenzo Boccia, the head of industrial employers' group Confindustria, said not ratifying CETA would be a "serious mistake". He said "CETA is in Italy's interests because we are a country with a high export vocation and we create wealth through exports".
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