Belgian minister’s twitter feed hacked amid CETA tensions

Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and Didier Reynders yesterday (18 October) in Luxembourg. [European Council]

The twitter account of Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders was hacked yesterday (18 October), his ministry said, just hours after EU ministers failed to agree on a trade deal with Canada due to opposition by Belgium.

“The personal twitter account of MFA Didier Reynders was hacked. The recent messages that are published on this account are not his,” the Belgian ministry of foreign affairs said in a tweet.

The posting by Reynders in question featured a photo of former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, emblazoned with “Hey Canada, Fuck You!”. The fake comment by Reynders could be translated as “Yea, sure…”



The ministry told Belga news agency that “everything was being done to fix the problem.”

Three hours after the offensive tweet, the message was still the most recent post on the Reynders account.

The hack took place just hours after the EU set a Friday deadline for the small Belgian region of Wallonia to accept the EU-Canada trade deal.

Belgian region of Wallonia blocks EU-Canada trade deal

Lawmakers in the small Belgian region of Wallonia today (14 October) voted to block an EU-Canada trade deal in a move set to have serious implications for future trade talks with the US and a non-EU UK.

Reynders, a conservative who represents Belgium’s federal government, is a staunch supporter of the deal, known as CETA, but the socialist-led regional government of Wallonia has blocked approval of the accord.

The head of region Paul Magnette on Tuesday said he still refused to agree to greenlight the massive free trade deal for signature by the EU despite intense international pressure to back down.

EU leaders face ‘credibility’ test with CETA

Belgium’s Wallonia region will be at the centre of attention when EU heads of states and government meet tomorrow and Friday (20-21 October), as the French-speaking region’s opposition to a proposed EU-Canada free trade agreement is expected to dominate summit talks.

Magnette’s refusal has endangered the formal signature of CETA, putting the whole deal in limbo and drawing huge praise from activists who are worried about the accord’s consequences to the environment.

Signature of CETA was originally planned to take place during a visit by the current Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the end of October in Brussels.

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