Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-01-17-Speech-1-086"

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"Mr President, Mrs Schroedter’s report undoubtedly contains several important observations, and I would like to congratulate her on that. However, I feel that we should be a little more concerned about the actual direction and outcome of the Community’s regional policy. Quite briefly, structural policy does not ease the problem of mass unemployment in any way, rather it aggravates it. The agricultural economy and agricultural regions have been irreparably damaged by the existing regional policy, which has had dramatic consequences on employment levels in rural areas and on the living conditions of farmers, particularly in the South. Regional disparities are becoming much more marked within the Member States. If we examine the data presented in the sixth periodic report, we will see that the last decade has witnessed a proliferation of regional disparities. Little consideration, if any at all, has been given to the great problems facing the island regions of the Union whose shortcomings as regards infrastrucutres structure, transport, communication and energy has resulted in their gradual depopulation. The Union’s economic and social policy is just as much to blame for that as its regional policy. A large section of the Union’s population has strongly condemned this policy for being dangerous and anti grass-roots. Unfortunately, the new guidelines seem to be heading in the same direction and there are no signs that things will change once they have been implemented."@en1

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