by Liang Linlin, Cheng Yu, Pang Yuwei
BRUSSELS, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Europe is facing intensified resistance to its trade deals with its transatlantic partners as a new wave of protests emerged across the continent.
A total of 9,000 people paraded in central Brussels around the European Union (EU) institutions late Tuesday to protest the bloc's trade agreements with the United States and Canada, fearing those deals would harm Europe's interests.
The march came three days after massive protests took place in seven German cities this weekend, in which some 180,000 people participated.
Another protest is planned in the Slovak capital of Bratislava on Friday when EU trade ministers are scheduled to gather and discuss the two deals.
"I am totally against TTIP," Guillaume, a French sophomore aged 20, told Xinhua, referring to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a proposed trade agreement between the EU and the United States.
Guillaume showed leaflets in his hand and expressed his anger. "It gives much power to lobbies and these lobbies, unexpectedly, will have access to co-write and revise the law."
Like several young people on spot, Guillaume's biggest concern was about job hunting in the future. He feared that TTIP would undermine Europe's already subdued labor market and lower employees' working conditions.
"We are angry," shouted another college student. "Our economies are already so bad and TTIP would only fit multinationals' interests, not ours."
Gaelle Peters, who has protested TTIP and CETA (the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) -- a proposed free-trade agreement between Canada and the EU -- for two and a half years, said she did not want public service content in TTIP to add burden to ordinary people.
Many were worried about their own life. "We have to make a living," a group of farmers yelled. "Pay attention! It's the U.S. that wins in the end," said Eric Claeys, organizer of these farmers.
"The intrusion of the American agricultural industry is our main concern. Americans' standard for agricultural products like meat and vegetables is much lower than Europeans'," he added.
TTIP and CETA would change all the rules in EU countries, Anastasia, a member of European NGO EuropeanLeft, told Xinhua. "We need to take control of our own life."
More than 50 groups participated in the march. Protesters placed two- meter-high inflatable Trojan horses, labeled "TTIP" and "CETA" respectively, on a square between headquarters of the European Commission and the EU Council, implying two deals were conspiratorial pacts.
BRUSSELS UNDER PRESSURE
The European Commission, the bloc's executive body conducting the trade talks, is under pressure to conclude TTIP by the end of this year as expected and win long-awaited approval of CETA by the European Parliament and EU member states.
Europe has also seen increased anger and resistance to the two deals from politicians.
French President Francois Hollande earlier dismissed TTIP as "clearly unbalanced" and his government withdrew support for continuing the talks, while German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel believed the deal had "de facto failed."
Earlier Tuesday, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom defended TTIP and CETA, saying free trade agreements benefited exports and boosted jobs.
Malmstrom spoke highly of the deal with Canada, applauding it as the best one Brussels had ever negotiated.
But the commissioner was more wary of TTIP, which is due to have the 15th round of talks in the first week of October. She warned that reaching the expected deadline would become "less likely as time went on."
The EU and the United States have failed to reach even one single chapter in the TTIP talks over the past three years.
Observers warned that the chance of wrapping up the deal by the deadline before U.S. President Barack Obama leaves office in January was getting increasingly slimmer due to the lack of support from some EU members and citizens.
A commission spokesperson did not rule out the possibility of lengthy TTIP talks which may involve a new U.S. president.
"The commission stands ready to continue negotiating with the current (U.S.) administration and with the next U.S. administration," Daniel Rosario said.