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Free Trade Free-For-All Unmasked

The European Union's "wish list" for trade liberalisation with this country finally explodes the myth that so-called free trade is in the least bit "free," Green Party Trade spokesperson Rod Donald said today.

The CTU has made public a leaked document revealing EU demands for overseas companies to be allowed to take over New Zealand's public services such as health, education and water supply and buy up private sector assets without scrutiny.

"It reveals an underlying philosophy in which the government must surrender its responsibility to provide services to meet peoples needs," said Rod Donald. "These people don't care about destroying a way of life if they can turn a quick buck."

"It takes a particular strain of zealot such as the Trade Liberalisation Network to argue that this could a good deal for New Zealand.

"The Green Party is calling on the Government to unequivocally reject the privatisation of public services and to tighten the rules on overseas investment, rather than dropping them as the EU is demanding.

"There is at least a silver lining in the leaking of this document," said Rod Donald. "It serves to highlight the hidden agendas that drive free trade agreements.

"The next time Jim Sutton goes to Washington or Hong Kong they should compare the deal on the table with this EU document. I think they might find some similarities."

Ends

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