Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2001-10-24-Speech-3-140"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, on the eve of this new meeting of the World Trade Organisation, which I prefer to call the Trading the World Organisation, you have used the correct term: legitimacy. The failure of Seattle, which I predicted, several weeks beforehand and in writing – forgive me if I gloat – was entirely due, in my opinion, to this twofold lack of legitimacy. Firstly, because the WTO itself has no legitimacy and, whatever people may think, is not up to the task that it has set itself. I am talking more precisely, however, about the absence of legitimacy of the European Union and I must say that this is not meant as personal criticism or criticism of the quality of the very idea of having a single negotiator, even if it does have a mandate, to replace all of our old nations, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, which have, since the early middle ages, expanded on the mould of this international trade, which is now global. No one can picture you, whatever your qualities, which everyone recognises, promoting both the interests of all of these countries and maintaining the diplomatic channels that the history of our ancient nations could allow us to fulfil, either with Latin America for Spain, Africa for France, etc. There is, as always, a huge pretentiousness or even vanity, on the part of the European Union, in seeking to replace, in one fell swoop, a thousand years of history and in claiming to be able to fulfil this role. The second stumbling block, of course, is the hypocrisy of the World Trade Organisation, which is approaching these negotiations like a wolf approaches a lamb. Since the financial world effectively took control of the economy twenty years ago, international trade is now mainly an excuse to continually, ceaselessly and forever and beyond expand the sphere of financial speculation to the point that these negotiations are beginning to look like a big raffle held for the benefit of those organising the raffle."@en1

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