German opposition to EU-U.S. trade deal increases

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 16, 2015 1:05 PM

BERLIN (Reuters) - Nearly half of Germans reject a proposed trade deal between Europe and the United States, a new opinion poll showed on Friday, almost twice as many as in February 2014.

The survey by polling group Emnid was released almost a week after a protest in Berlin against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) drew at least 150,000 people. The protest on Saturday was organized by a coalition of unions, environmental groups, charities and opposition parties.

When a similar poll was first conducted early last year, only 25 percent of the respondents expressed concerns about TTIP, which would be the world's biggest trade pact and is currently being negotiated.

Emnid's latest survey showed 46 percent of Germans consider the pact a bad thing, while support for it declined from 39 percent in February 2014 to 34 percent now.

Opponents fear TTIP will erode democracy, as well as European health, consumer safety and environmental standards.

Businesses hope the trade pact, creating a market of 800 million people, will deliver over $100 billion of economic gains on both sides of the Atlantic.

Negotiations over the deal's specifics will enter the 11th round of talks next week in the U.S.-American town of Miami with both sides hoping to reach a final agreement by the end of 2016.

(Reporting by Tina Bellon; Editing by Catherine Evans)