Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2002-12-18-Speech-3-124"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, Mr President-in-Office of the Council, I wish to begin by reiterating my solidarity with the Galician people and with all the communities who might be affected by this tragedy, in Spain, in France and, of course, in my own country. As time passes, the true scale of this disaster is becoming ever clearer. I hope that the investigation requested by Parliament will be undertaken in a thorough and timely manner. And, as I have already said in this Chamber, we must also clear up the mysterious change of direction taken by the ship which, after moving westwards, turned suddenly towards the South, until it sank, thirty miles outside Portuguese waters. What we need to do now, however, is to talk more about the future and this is why I would like to address four issues. Firstly, the European Union must provide funds to compensate, as much as possible, for the damage caused by the oil slick. In this context, I believe we would be justified in mobilising the EU Solidarity Fund, which has not yet been done. The second aspect is that since this has clearly had a terrible effect on fishing and shellfish farming, we must consider a more integrated and far-reaching package of measures that will provide practical responses for the communities that have been affected. The third aspect is that a technically and scientifically justified decision must be taken on what to do with the ship, which is now lying on the ocean floor with its 60 000 tonnes of oil. Unless this is resolved, we will be condemned not only to an oil slick but to a succession of oil slicks for months and years to come. Lastly, I wish to emphasise that it is now time to properly establish the European Maritime Safety Agency, which means that the Council must agree on where it should be based. To conclude, I wish to say that we want there to be a rigorous inquiry, as Parliament has already called for. What we do not want is for Parliament to be used to debate a country’s domestic problems."@en1

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