Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-04-26-Speech-3-107"

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"Madam President, ladies and gentlemen, I am grateful to Mrs Ferrero-Waldner and to Mr Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, whom our group supported and whose work today at the centre of our debate it welcomes. We welcome his report because it is timely, because it is practical and because it has a precious quality: political realism. Mr Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra reminds us that we must eventually adopt a strategic approach to Latin America, a broad outlook that aims to place side by side all the points that matter to us: the social aspect, the economic aspect and the cultural aspect. We must bear in mind that many things have changed in that continent. Major new players have emerged strongly in the social and political spheres; we must take account of these new players, including, of course, the indigenous and mestizo part of society, which until recently was sidelined from the political process. We must realistically consider the fact, too, that regional integration processes often mark time and, from that point of view, our experience can support and help the work being done by Latin American countries. Finally, we must bear in mind, as Mr Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra points out, that poverty remains endemic in that continent: 45% of the population live below the poverty line. However, notwithstanding a few inconsistencies, the income produced by the Latin American continent, in terms of GDP, is equivalent to USD 2 800, or three times as much as that produced in China. That tells us that Latin America remains a continent with significant economic and income-related disparities, in other words a continent of inequality. From that point of view, the Vienna Summit represents a great opportunity; firstly, in terms of making up for the scant attention that our institution, the European Parliament, has historically paid to Latin America and, secondly, in terms of investing in a cooperation measure that can genuinely overcome poverty and of preventing the political measures from being reduced to a sum of separate measures. We need the strategic outlook that the Commission is proposing to us and that the rapporteur has been able to take up."@en1

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