Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2005-01-12-Speech-3-225"

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"Madam President, Commissioner, I shall first address the Council, because we have in fact just heard that the Paris Club decided a couple of hours ago to freeze the debt of certain countries affected by the tsunami. We believe this is a short-sighted decision, because we think those countries need not a moratorium but the cancellation of their debt, as had been proposed by almost all the humanitarian aid organisations – Oxfam, ActionAid, etc. You will know more about it than I do, Minister. In that respect I agree with the Commissioner: a different kind of trade policy is needed. Thailand was asking us to lower the cost of accessing international markets, but the West is unbending on that point: protectionist barriers cannot be touched. The last item on the agenda: it is not just Iraq’s debt and that of the countries affected by the tsunami that need to be cancelled urgently. Indeed, it would be a serious matter if the message being sent out to the international community were that it needs to be struck by a war or a natural disaster causing 200 000 deaths in order to be entitled to solidarity from the West."@en1

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