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FTAs will bring the society in the Dead-Mire
KoA demanding stop Korea-EU FTA
La Eun-young, Reporter
There was a demonstration against the Korea-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in front of the Shilla Hotel where 4th negotiation for the pact is making its way.

The Korean Alliance against the Korea-EU FTA, an anti-Kor-EU FTA group, staged the protest which assembled up to some two hundreds participants. The participants made resolution that they would do their best to break down both the Kor-US FTA and the Kor-EU FTA, and called for a massive demonstration that will be conducted on November 11.

Jung Kwang-hun, one of co-chairpersons of the organization said that we should seize the opportunity of the general and presidential election to make a people's government on our own, not the "rogue government" that gives only pain to people, especially to workers and farmers.

During the rally people could see the solidarity of Europe-based progressive organizations which delivered a joint statement and there was official reporting of the 3rd overseas struggle in European Union from delegates. And there were also cultural activities like musical performance of 'Beautiful Youngsters' and dancing performance of some college students. Among the participants there were contract workers of 'E-Land Co.' and 'New Core' who have been in strike against a massive lay-off of irregular workers for over a hundred days. Some farmer's organization also joined in.

Moon Kyung-sik, the president of the Korean Peasants' League, which is the national federation of small farmers' organizations, pointed out the grim fact that despite the ruling classes' rosy view over FTA, Uruguay Round in real has only made peasants' lives bleak.

In the resolution, they showed their concerns that Kor-EU FTA will privatize all the public goods such as water and electricity and destroy the environment and agriculture without any exception. They also called for breaking off the "blind" negotiations.

In the meantime, the Korean government made progress of talks with EU delegates on sectional issues such as goods concession, services, telecommunications, origin of products. In the afternoon there were talks on intellectual property rights.

It is said that EU delegates showed their discontent about the proposal of Korea that it will reduce tariff rate on goods by 68% in three years and argued that reduced rate is lower than that of 94%, at which is set in the negotiation with the US in the same section. And they also argued that period of tariff elimination of 10 years, which the Korean government insisted in the sensitive goods such as pork meat and other dairy product, is too long.

Especially on the subject of intellectual property, where the issue of 'Geographical Indication' (GI) has emerged, the delegation was said to request applying GI, in addition to the spirits and wines, to all agricultural products.

translated by Cho Eun-seok

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