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Over three million Europeans sign anti-TTIP petition

A Europe-wide initiative of citizens has collected over three million signatures against the TTIP trade agreement negotiated between the EU and the US. A spokesman for the organization called it a huge success.

A European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) called "Stop TTIP" on Monday handed over an updated list of 3.28 million signatures from

people opposed to the planned free trade agreement

between the EU and the US.

The list was given to the head of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, in Berlin, with the campaigners demanding a parliamentary hearing.

"Our success in collecting all those signatures shows just how strong opposition is across Europe to TTIP and CETA," spokesman Karl Bär said in a statement.

No lack of support

Watch video 03:14

The pros and cons of TTIP

Since July 2013, the EU and the US have been negotiating a free trade agreement, which would affect some 800 million consumers and would do away with duties and other trade barriers.

But critics of the deal are afraid such an agreement

would erode European social, environmental and consumer protection standards

and weaken democratic institutions.

The CETA deal between the EU and Canada has already been negotiated, serving as a blueprint for TTIP.

European decision makers will now have to deal with the initiative's demands officially, having three months to respond adequately.

hg/pad (dpa, AFP)

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