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Fire store afrikanske fag- og arbejdsorganisationer opfordrer afrikanske ledere til at sige nej til EUs handelsaftaler.
Aftalerne gavner ikke de afrikanske lande. Europæisk industri og landbrug får massive statstilskud, og deres billige varer kan slå bunden ud af afrikansk industri og landbrug.
I mange afrikanske lande udgør told på importerede varer mere end halvdelen af det offentliges indtægter. EU-aftalerne dikterer, at denne told skal fjernes fra 80 procent af alle varer. Det vil naturligvis efterlade de afrikanske lande med et kæmpe hul i statsbudgettet, samtidig med at det vil udrydde arbejdspladser.
Labour says ’No’ to EPA
Four labour organisations — the African Regional Organisation of the international Trade Union Confederation, the African Trade Network, Ghana Trades Union Congress and the Federation of Labour — have called on leaders of the Africa, Carribean and Pacific countries not to ratify the Economic Partnership Agreement they have signed with the European Union.
Ghanian Times, Thursday, 02 October 2008. By Lawrence Akpalu and Dorothy Ankomah
FOUR Labour Organisations have called on leaders of the African-Carribean, and Pacific (ACP) countries not to ratify the Economic Partnership Agreement they have signed with the European Union (EU).
The organisations believe that the agreement will impoverish the citizenry of the various ACP countries instead of improving upon their economic lives.
The groups - the African Regional Organisation of the international Trade Union Confederation, the African Trade Network, Ghana Trades Union Congress and the Federation of Labour - made the call at a media briefing in Accra yesterday.
They contended that any trade agreement between the European Union and the ACP countries was not acceptable, given the huge gap between the two parties.
"The agreement which contains a reciprocal market access that obliges ACP countries to remove overtime, costs and custom duties on 80 per cent of all goods emanating from the EU cannot be described as beneficial to the ACP members," the group added.
They further argued that such radical liberalisation "will only further fuel the influx of wide range of goods that would depress ACP markets and undermine industrial and agricultural production given the huge subsidies European producers receive".
They said that most ACP countries rely heavily on custom duties for more than half of their annual revenue, therefore any attempt to remove custom duties on 80 per cent of imports from the EU would decimate ACP’s small production base, wipe employment and livelihoods and undermine efforts at achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
The Labour organisations deplored the attitude of the European Commission and accused it of trying to abandon the regional negotiations through signing interim agreements with individual countries which clearly showed that the EU is not interested in the welfare of ACP members.
They said since the EU had refused to listen to the concerns of ACP countries and had rather mounted intense pressure on them, the heads of state of ACP countries must reclaim the destiny of their countries by taking a collective decision on the Economic Partnership Agreement.
The international Trade Union Confederation-Africa - the regional grouping of the global trade union central - worries that the agreements favour European businesses at the expense of their developing nation counterparts.
"African nations come out as weak partners, subject to neo-liberal dictates of international financial institutions and their accompanying trade rules established by WTO," said Mr Adu-Amankwah.
"We join the call for the nullification of the interim EPAs and for
appropriate time to be given for negotiating new trade relations
between Africa and Europe that take account of Africa’s genuine needs
for development and regional integration," said International Trade
Union Confederation-Africa (ITUC-Africa) secretary general Kwasi