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Romania declines to ratify Internet pact

17 february 2012, 15:54
Strike in Bulgaria. ©AFP
Strike in Bulgaria. ©AFP
Romania has not ratified the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) aimed at protecting intellectual property and will prepare a response, AFP reports citing Prime Minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu.

"We will prepare a very substantial response with our point of view," Ungureanu said when asked by journalists for his government's position regarding ACTA. He did not give further details.

ACTA aims to beef up international standards for intellectual property protection. But fears that it may curtail online freedoms in the guise of attacking illegal downloading and file-sharing have sparked angry protests from Internet users across Europe.

Several countries including Bulgaria, Germany and Latvia have suspended the agreement's ratification. ACTA was signed on January 26 in Tokyo by 22 of the 27 European Union members, including Romania.

The agreement was negotiated by the EU, Australia, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, South Korea, Switzerland, Singapore and the United States.

"For Romanian and European Union exporters, the implementation of ACTA will contribute to protect intellectual and industrial property rights, copyrights and brands," Romanian government spokeswoman Ioana Muntean said in late January quoted by Agerpres news agency.

She added however that if public and parliamentary debates conclude that the agreement must not be ratified, this would not happen.

Thousands of Romanians gathered Saturday in several cities to protest against the agreement.

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