Germany’s Social Democrats have finally given their backing to a trade deal between the EU and Canada.
The move paves the way for the bloc to approve the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement or CETA, before Brussels signs the accord with Ottawa next month.
The SPD are junior coalition partners in Angela Merkel’s government but had been holding up proceedings with objections.
CETA which aims to eliminate tariffs on 98 percent of goods has been criticised over riding roughshod over labour rights and environmental protection.
The deal is being seen as a blue print for a parallel trade deal with the US known as TTIP.
Around 180,000 people took part in rallies on Saturday in seven German cities against both trade deals.