Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/1999-10-05-Speech-2-125"

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"Mr President, Europe was as lavish with its fine words when apartheid was abolished as it proved to be miserly when it came to economic concessions. This small-minded mentality did not hold sway in the Commission but it did in the short-sighted European governments that allowed their national profit interests to carry more weight than the welfare of the South African people. It has emerged from a recent report by UNCTAD that South Africa’s imports from the European Union are likely to increase more dramatically than exports to this market. In so far as this is the case, the agreement is certainly going to have to be adjusted. We are going to have to keep a very close eye on the actual implementation of the agreement. We must not allow the SADC countries to be disadvantaged by South Africa’s relations with Europe. The same applies here: a good neighbour is worth more than a distant friend. Indeed, South Africa must give impetus to the development of the whole region. Its aggressive expansion in neighbouring countries is doing nothing to further this aim. The balance of trade with neighbouring countries is completely unstable. South Africa exports seven times more than it imports. Just as the European Union has granted Pretoria preferential tariffs, so Pretoria could do the same with its neighbours. After all, economic development is essential if there is to be political stability and peace throughout the region. Notwithstanding our criticism of the European Union’s position, we attach a great deal of importance to the fundamental objective of the agreement, that is the economic development of South Africa and integration into international trade. That is why we support Mrs Kinnock’s recommendation. Mr President, as the saying goes: better some of a pudding than none of a pie."@en1

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