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CETA, Friend or Foe

Bas Tervuuren was on his way to the parlement.

He did feel the tension of the coming long day, with meetings about the CETA pact.

There was a lot of opposition against it and lobbyists, the pro’s, were agressively promoting the supposed huge benefits of this agreement.

The opposition, the no’s, clearly stated that it apparently was not intended for the benefit of people but only for more corporation profits and less control of the quality of goods.

He was a well known person and a supporter of the people and frequently they wanted to have a little talk to him, they liked his enthousiasm and his honesty.

The buildings of the Parlement were dominating the environment.

From far away you could see the beauty  but, they originated from an other period.

A time where the king was almost almighty, the ruler, the dictator.

Now it was a democracy and this evolution resulted in a strong  and conscious population where education was free and consequently the people were involved and of a high expertise.

Bas entered the building and after the necessairy security checks he was welcomed by some of his colleges.

They informed him about the last novelties and told him that the first meeting was delayed by a quarter of an hour, so, time to take a cappuccino.

He went to his office to collect the necessary documents, inspected them for interesting or important issues and went to the large meeting room.

The most important issue today was the discussion about signing, or not, the CETA pact.

Heavy and intense discussions were expected.

He discussed some little aspects with his co-fellows untill the signal came for opening the meeting and the start was made with the usual opening ritual.

Then, the discussion about CETA started wit Mrs. Jason-Ambigail.

She was a good diplomate and could explain the advantages of the deal very well but, with no word she talked about the wellknown disadvantages.

Bas interrupted her and mentioned the need of people who wanted to know how the known disadvantages could be handled wihin the contract.

The reaction was clear, don’t worry about it, we all want to deliver the best contract for the countries and we will act with respect to the population and the actual law.

Of course, Bas interrupted again.

We should be glad if you added this into the contract so, all parties would be more satisfied with that clear text.

Mrs. Jason-Ambigail, while showing a little bit of agitation, answered with the statement that all parties of the deal should have trust and confidence, the corporations, also the large, have enough selfregulation to make it a real big succes for all parties involved, also for the people of the countries.

Now another person, Mark Lobsci, was allowed to give a dedicated explanation concerning the corporations.

Mark was a friendly person and he was capable to give his teachings in a very detailed and enthousiastic manner so, students always listened and did not want to miss any word, he was a good teacher.

But also he was a very smart communicator, able to give massive explanations without committing to anything.

He was strongly in favor of the CETA.

Within the opposition he was called “The Lobby Scientist”, suggesting he was for sale !

With a projection of the map he mentioned the yearly rise of the income of the different countries together with the rise in cooperation with the supposed influence of large corporations.

It was an amazing and very interesting monologue and everyone listened to the explanations that did suggest the importance of the corporations for the total community.

Mark did not interrupt one second but waited for his moment and the confrontation of the audience with the real facts, it came sooner than he expected.

He tested the microphone by saying good moorning to the audience and started.

My dear friends !    He looked around and knew that everyone was listening, some because they loved him, others to find issues to attack him lateron.

Now he continued.  The last years, say hunderd years, the businesses always did grow, some even from small to supranational, and still are growing, without additional CETA contract so there is no real need for it.

Besides that, it does not regulate the rights of the civilians. They are left without any rights.

Immediately the pro’s reacted.

The agreement is based on mutual trust, so stop with those ridiculous arguments.

The reaction was as expected and Bas continued.

Yes, we should be able to trust each other but a large number of corporations don’t act that way.

In Groningen, the Netherlands, a big corporation started with the extraction of gas, after a number of years suddenly the earth began to shake resulting in lots of damage. The period before the gas extraction there were no earthquakes.

And of course, if you extract from below the surface, consequently the surface will change.

But corporations did not take their resposibility, lobby-scientists produced lots of evidence, lobby-politicians asked year after year for new studies and lobby-judges asked the people “can you prove one-to-one that it is caused by that way of extraction”.

It was one big game to delay as much as possible and to bring people to the moment of giving-up.

So, how can we TRUST corporations ??

Mark interrupted and said that it is just an incident !!

Bas continued.

The same we see with fracking.

Vast areas in America are contaminated and poisoned by fracking, yet, lobby-politicians did promote fracking in the Netherlands.  (TRUST !?!?)

Vast areas in Nigerea are contaminated with oil but companies don’t take their resposibility.  (TRUST !?!?)

Vast area’s in the north of Ecuador, partly rainforest, are contaminated with oil but companies don’t take their resposibility.  (TRUST !?!?)

Immense mercury poisonning caused by gold mining.

Vast areas with plants, our food !, contaminated by different toxics to destroy unwished insects and plants.

After some time, more and more is necessairy.

Again, Mark interrupted.

That is caused by the people, not following the rules !!

There were some rumours in the audience.

No Mark, if a corporation only is interested in profit and not in collateral damage, prevention and solving, than people become angry, of course !!

More reasons not to trust and believe what corporations say are the textile industry in developping countries; a highly toxic environment for people to work in and highly toxic for the environment and water management. Almost no corporations show their compassion and responsibility with respect to people and environment.

Rice cultures in other countries such as Cambodja. Corporations buy the rice at the lowest possible price causing the farmers to live in utmost poverty, no compassion from the corporations. 

Just pay a fair price !!

Within the big meeting hall there were soft rumours.

Bas continued.

There should be a CETA for the civilians, for the people on the street, for working people, to give them the right share.

The rumours became louder.

Some sounds did look like …………….. yes !!  …..  ter … vuuren …….. tervuuren ……… tervuuren !!!!

Bas continued: Also Big Pharma doesn’t care about people, they can raise the prise far beyond the production costs. They don’t care about people, only maximizing profit is their goal. And, there were rumours that some medicines were made in such a way that they caused the lifelong need for other medicines, so, profit !!

Within the hall many people and many voices joined and made a magnificent choir   ……TERVUUREN…….TERVUUREN……..TERVUUREN…….

It was overwhelming and Bas, for a moment, was silent and listened to the enthousiast voices of the people.

He asked for silence and spoke the following message:

Yes, we all should vote for a CETA with PEOPLE FIRST.

Voices became louder and louder.


Also outside, on the street, this words could be heard.

People were enthousist. Tervuuren should be the president.

The pro’s left the meeting hall where they lost the final battle, silently.

One week later the CETA signing was cancelled and Bas was asked, with a team, to devellop the new PEOPLE-CETA.


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