Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-07-08-Speech-2-092"

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"Afghanistan is a country faced with many problems. It is a country that experiences many terrorist attacks, with worsening internal security, and where human rights are not respected. The country is a producer of an enormous quantity of opium, which also has a negative impact on security and politics, as an economy based on opium production is a source of corruption, weakening public institutions, particularly the legal system. Over half of the Afghan population lives below the poverty line, with unemployment reaching 40%, and renouncing Islam is still a punishable offence. Despite the fact that this country embarked on a complicated and painstaking process of reconstruction, it needs to satisfy its inhabitants’ needs much better in areas such as education, health, housing, food and public safety. Help given to Afghanistan should involve short-term and long-term measures made possible by far-reaching improvements to the system of government. The support of the European Union should be based on the experience and knowledge of the missions of Member States that are present in Afghan territory, using civilian or military forces as intermediaries. The presence of NATO forces is also vital to combat terrorism. The large-scale participation of the population in elections should have a positive effect on the country’s future, as this shows a desire to create a democratic state. It is also extremely important to continue the battle against corruption and to encourage the creation of new structures in Afghan institutions. Restructuring and the joint international effort can have an enormous impact on pulling Afghanistan out of the difficult situation it is in, caused by the long-running internal conflict."@en1

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