German court rejects complaint to suspend Canada trade deal

A demonstrator blows a whistle during a protest against the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, CETA, in front of the chancellery in Berlin, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. The Federal Constitutional Court held a hearing Wednesday considering calls from opponents of a European Union-Canada trade deal for an injunction aimed at putting the signing of the accord on ice. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

BERLIN - Germany's highest court has rejected calls from opponents of a European Union-Canada trade deal for an injunction that had the potential to spell an end to the pact.

The Federal constitutional Court ruled Thursday against the complaints against the trade deal with Canada, known as CETA. Tens of thousands of citizens joined in two of those complaints.

The plaintiffs had wanted the government to be forced to vote against approving the accord at an EU meeting Oct. 18 pending full consideration by the court of their contention that it violates the principles of democracy.

Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, who is also Germany's economy minister, had warned putting off CETA's signing could effectively torpedo the accord.

The judges attached some conditions to their decision designed to help address the plantiffs' concerns.

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