Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2009-02-03-Speech-2-279"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, the closing of Guantánamo allows us to rectify a violation that has shamed international law and, above all, has done no service to the war on terrorism. Today, however, it is not enough to welcome President Obama’s decision. Now is the time to take responsibility, and responsibility also involves Europe and the Member States. Guantánamo is, in part, the consequence of Europe’s silence and the collaboration of many of our governments in the system of rendition. In recent years, what has happened is that our governments were, on the one hand, saying that Guantánamo must be closed and, on the other, sending their police officers there to interrogate the detainees. We are talking about responsibilities which were denied when this Parliament investigated the matter, but which have been acknowledged and verified in the past two years. February 2008: London apologises for the CIA flights; some aeroplanes have used British bases, said Foreign Secretary Miliband, contradicting what Tony Blair had said three years earlier, maintaining that nothing illegal had taken place on British soil. December 2008: the Spanish Government under Mr Aznar knew that many CIA flights had overflown Spanish air space and used Spanish airports. This emerged from a secret document published by that turned out to be true. The then Minister of Foreign Affairs, Josep Piqué, who acknowledged the use of Spanish airports, said that he did not know what happened afterwards in Guantánamo. Perhaps he thought that it was an amusement park. In October 2008, we learnt that in Portugal, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Amado, admitted that the former centre­right government of Mr Barroso knowingly made Portuguese airports and air space available for illegal CIA flights. Mr Amado said: ‘I did not talk about it so as not to disrupt the serenity of the European institutions’. We ask: and what about the citizens’ right to know? Or are we to imagine that not even Mr Barroso knew what sort of civil and juridical obscenity Guantánamo was then and still is now? This is the point, Mr President, and I am about to conclude: in recent years we have shown much good will and much hypocrisy, not least in what the Council has left unsaid during these years. Two years ago, Parliament addressed 46 recommendations to the Council. We would have expected that at least some of these recommendations would have been given due examination and due attention, that there would eventually have been replies to at least some of the recommendations. For this reason, we believe that providing some help in closing Guantánamo and assuming our collective responsibility, as Europe and the 27 Member States that it comprises, would be a contribution, however small, to atone for our collective silence."@en1

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