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European democracy lessons for Vaile.



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Kerry Nettle, Senator for New South Wales

MEDIA RELEASE 06.02.03

European democracy lessons for Vaile

Senator Kerry Nettle has today called on the Minister for Trade, Mark Vaile, to follow the lead of the European Union and rule out any further liberalisation of trade in key public services.

“I congratulate the participants of the vigorous community campaign to protect public services in key areas which has forced the EU minsters to act.

The decision to rule out talks in the Doha world trade round on further liberalisation of its health, education, energy and water markets was announced by the EU Trade Commissioner, Pascal Lamy, in Brussels yesterday.

“Mr Vaile could aspire to the same open and responsive approach displayed by the Europeans, instead he has so far refused to provide details of the GATS negotiations that will impact so heavily on the community.

“The Australian people, just like their European counterparts, have learned the hard lessons of previous failures in deregulation and privatisation and will not stand for further ‘liberalisation’ undermining essential services.

“The community is deeply suspicious of the WTO process and this government does nothing to allay this suspicion when they conduct negotiations and decision making on these sensitive issues without public or parliamentary scrutiny.

“The kind of public outcry that has been brought to bear on EU Governments is just what the Minister can expect should this Government attempt to sell out our public interest to the highest bidder.

The Greens support the public ownership and regulation of essential services and oppose trade deals that undermine the democratic control of these markets.

Contact - Jon Edwards 0428 213 146