Harper hosts EU leaders today for Canada Europe summit

Disagreement from two Eastern European countries could still derail free trade deal

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Harper will host a summit with two top leaders from the European Union today in Ottawa.

He’ll meet with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy.

One reason for the summit is to celebrate the end of Canada’s free trade talks with the EU, but there are still some shoals to navigate.

The Canadian Press has learned there is persistent concern that two unhappy eastern European countries could still derail the deal.

Canada requires a visa for travellers from Romania and Bulgaria and some diplomats fear one or both of the countries could block ratification of the agreement if the requirement is not lifted.

Canada imposed the visa on the two countries as well as the Czech Republic to stop an influx of bogus refugee claimants among ethnic Roma applicants.

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