Europe

EU chief says trade deal with Canada still possible

FILE - In this Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016 file photo, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel speaks during a media conference at the prime ministers office in Brussels. The small Belgian region of Wallonia is currently holding up the signature of a landmark free trade deal uniting over 500 million European Union citizens and 35 million Canadians. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)

FILE - In this Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016 file photo, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel speaks during a media conference at the prime ministers office in Brussels. The small Belgian region of Wallonia is currently holding up the signature of a landmark free trade deal uniting over 500 million European Union citizens and 35 million Canadians. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)  (The Associated Press)

The president of the European Union still hopes that a free trade between the bloc and Canada can be signed at a summit this week despite Belgium's refusal so far to sign on.

Donald Tusk told EU legislators early Wednesday that "the summit tomorrow is still possible."

For now, he acknowledged, "the EU is still not ready to sign" because of the steadfast opposition of a Belgian region, which is blocking the approval of its national government.

After some progress late Tuesday, Belgian national and regional leaders huddled again early Wednesday seeking a breakthrough that would yield the unanimity among EU nations on the trade deal.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is still ready to come over to Brussels for Thursday's signature.