Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-09-07-Speech-4-237"

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"Mr President, I speak as a friend of Fiji, as someone who has followed events there for many years. I have friends and acquaintances there and have been there. When I spoke to the politicians the last time I was there three or four years ago the one thing they were all pleased about was the new constitution which had taken four years to put together, and when I saw the events of recent times my heart sank because I knew the consequences for that country. I should like clarification from you, Commissioner. From what you said, I assume you are saying no sanctions, that it is a matter of wait and see and giving them time to sort themselves out before we take any action. I would like clarity on that point. I do not want to walk away from here just assuming that; it would be helpful if you could be more explicit. Mr Ford has called for Fiji to be banned from all sporting events. My sport happens to be a minority sport – rugby league football – and in October or November the World Cup will be taking place in the UK and in France. Fiji will have a squad there as part of the World Cup. The Australian Government wants them banned. The Australian Government thinks that Fiji should not take part in this competition. If you speak to the players, whether they be Asian, Polynesian or Melanesian, they will say they want to play, of course. My specific question to you, Commissioner, is would the Commission advocate sporting bans at this time or not?"@en1

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