Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-01-17-Speech-1-104"

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"Mr President, Commissioner, as my time is limited, I shall get straight to the point. Firstly, let me make a statement of fact: the fruits of growth are not distributed equitably within the Union. The most remote regions, still hard hit by catastrophic unemployment rates, offer one example of this. In Reunion, for example, the rate is 37%. This is not a situation related to the economic climate, however; rather it is a structural problem, created by our remoteness, our insularity, in short, our own specific personality. The principle of specific, exceptional treatment was envisaged in Article 299(2) of the Treaty of Amsterdam in order to deal with such cases. It only remains to put this principle into practice. The Commission document expected to be ready in December 1999 was delayed until January, then February, and the initial thinking does not fill me with much optimism. I therefore appeal formally to the Council and the Commission. As regards taxation, state aid, the Structural Funds and defending our traditional products, practical measures characterised by daring and ambition must be planned as a matter of urgency. If these do not materialise, then, unfortunately, convergence and cohesion will remain no more than words for us, and it is to be feared that the structural policy undertaken in our regions, despite the size of the amounts committed, will end in failure."@en1

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