Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2005-05-25-Speech-3-136"

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"Mr President, along with several other Members of this House, I spent Monday in Belarus. Our visit was connected with this country’s violation of the right of national minorities to self determination and the right to representation of the Association of Poles in Belarus. Mr President, I should like to remind the House that presidential elections will take place in Belarus in less than a year. In totalitarian countries ruled by dictatorships, such as Belarus, finding a scapegoat and pinning the principal blame for failure on national minorities is a tried and tested solution. This is what has happened in Belarus. The Association of Poles has become a scapegoat, and Poland and Polish diplomats have become public enemy number one in the country. A programme being broadcast several times a day on two state television channels uses slander and lies to imply that Poland wishes to bring about the collapse of Belarus and to interfere in its domestic affairs. The Belarussian Government did not recognise the democratic elections held by the Association of Poles. Mr President, the only effective way in which the EU can gain any influence over what is happening in Belarus is for the European Union, the Members of this House and politicians to intervene and to provide support. This would force the Belarussian authorities to recognise the elections held by the Association of Poles in Belarus. I would ask for a debate to be held in the House on this issue. It is a controversial issue that ..."@en1

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