Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-01-18-Speech-2-035"

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"Mr President, I am very glad that Mrs Randzio-Plath mentioned the very important context of our debate because up until now no other speaker has done so. The advent of the euro at the beginning of last year unleashed enormous competitive forces within European business which are being met by a merger wave of quite unprecedented proportions. For example, the figures for last year now show that the total value of mergers in the European area was EUR 1.4 trillion, which is seven times the level of merger activity at the peak of the last European merger boom in 1990. This poses enormous challenges for competition policy, which I hope it will be able to meet because, for certain, many of those mergers are going to be designed to protect profit margins of the businesses from competition rather than merely to enhance productivity and make those businesses able to operate on a bigger scale. Commissioner Monti and his colleagues have a tremendous challenge ahead of them and our worries in the ELDR Group are that there should be no weakening in the thrust of competition policy either in the examination of mergers or the monitoring of restrictive practices. Delegation to national authorities is all very well but we would emphasise what Mr von Wogau said in his report on the need for regular monitoring of national authorities to ensure that there is no slippage in the European element, and, particularly would ask the Commissioner to reassure us that there would be random checks on that."@en1

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