Belgian region rejects EU 'ultimatum' over Canada trade pact

Wallonia's socialist government head Paul Magnette (L) and European Parliament President Martin Schulz hold a joint press conference after their meeting regarding the EU-Canada Trade Agreement on October 22, 2016Belgium’s Wallonia region on Sunday dealt a fresh blow to a proposed EU-Canada trade deal, rejecting a 24-hour ultimatum from the bloc to end its objection to the agreement. In an embarrassment for the 28-nation EU, Belgium has so far been the only member not to sign up to the CETA trade deal, blocked by French-speaking Wallonia, which has refused to endorse it. The EU has warned that unless Belgium makes its position clear, it will cancel a summit on Thursday to sign the accord with Ottawa, and indicated that it expected Prime Minister Charles Michel to come up with an answer on Monday.

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