Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/1999-12-14-Speech-2-209"

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"c . – Mr President, let me get the customary thanks to the rapporteurs out of the way first in case I run out of time at the end. It is always the right thing to do but on this occasion it is genuine thanks to Mr Bourlanges, to Mr Virrankoski and an additional one on this occasion to Mr Colom for the work they have done in a very difficult procedure. I would also like to thank those people within Parliament who helped make this budget a success. Mr Bourlanges mentioned at our first reading the staff of the Committee on Budgets, the long hours they work, not only at nights but at weekends also, to make sure that we can function. Also thanks to all the political group staff. That includes Mr Westenbroek who sometimes gets right on my nerves but thank you to all those who have helped us get this far. The second thing we need clarified is this: on the EUR 2 billion in payments of compulsory and non-compulsory expenditure, can you confirm that this is the position of the Council – meaning the Member States and not just you? Can we assume that will not be challenged before we take our vote tomorrow morning? Thirdly, can you produce in writing your position for our meeting tomorrow so that Mr Colom i Naval can make proposals? If we get those things clarified I think we can get the solution the Council is looking for. Let me say one last thing. We all have to learn lessons from this and the one that the Council must learn more than anything else is, not to take Parliament for granted. Let us not lose sight of what is in this budget. We are talking about one issue which is how to fund Kosovo but there is a lot in this budget that we should be proud of, as Mr Walter and others have already reminded us. The last time we were in a budget debate, I think, I saw the Council benches absolutely empty. This must be a very serious debate when I see the number of people who are here from the Council. If we put their numbers together, and the Commission numbers together, they probably outnumber the Members in this Chamber, which signifies that they are looking forward to something being said. Whether that be from our side or from your side, Madam President-in-Office, I am not too sure, but they are here to keep their eye on somebody. I intend to ask questions, Mr President, and I hope we can find a solution to them tomorrow. Yesterday when we voted in our committee we took a position which I, and I think the vast majority of our committee, are quite happy with. Let me say this: we have no problem. You do. And now you are looking to us to get you out of a problem. I do not blame the Finnish President at all. You have been quite honourable in your dealings with us. It is the ones behind you who have been giving you a lot of problems. We know that. Quite frankly, we have got into this mess and now we are being asked to bail you out. Let me try and get some clarification on what you said in your speech, Madam President-in-Office. I have called a special Budgets Committee meeting for tomorrow at 9.15 a.m. or thereabouts when the votes are finished and we will vote on the Colom report and we will vote, if need be, on changes to Mr Bourlanges' report. But we need some clarification on some issues. I turn to the Commission because within the text there are three declarations and the first is a declaration from the Commission. The original text had the figure EUR 5.5 billion which has been mentioned by Mrs Buitenweg. The Council has actually taken that figure out. I am asking the Commission to clarify that it is a figure of about EUR 5.5 billion we are talking about when we talk about the aid that is needed for Kosovo and the Balkans in the light of what President Prodi and Commissioner Patten said. So, some clarification is needed from the Commission. In category four, and before I request clarification there, when the President-in-Office mentioned help for places like Kosovo and East Timor, let me remind the Council that it did not put any money on the line for East Timor – we did. Even at the second reading it did not put money on the line – we did. If you had not agreed the EUR 125 million for Morocco – even before we had an agreement – we probably would not be in the position we are in now. But that is another matter. I need clarification on three things for our committee meeting tomorrow. We have had a chat about this, but I want to hear you say it here tonight. When I was noting down what you were saying, in English you said that the ceiling for heading 4 should not be amended permanently. You clarified that by saying: the words 'at this moment' should also be added. Let me try and simplify it. Can you confirm that in that phrase you are talking only about the year 2000? When you talk of no revision for category 4 being necessary are you talking only about the year 2000? That is the first thing we need to have clarified."@en1
"hairman of the Committee on Budgets"1

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