Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2003-01-16-Speech-4-117"

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"Madam President, my colleague and friend Mr Ojeda used the term ‘in deficit’ when referring to the Government of Equatorial Guinea in terms of democracy and human rights. In terms that are sure to please Commissioner Solbes, who deals with economic and monetary affairs, the deficit is such that the Government of Guinea is simply bankrupt in this respect. Not only is it bankrupt, but it is also continually failing to comply with each and every one of the commitments made, first of all to the European Union and, in general, to the international community in terms of moving towards the rule of law. The recent elections were a clear example of the fact that Mr Obiang does not want democracy or human rights in his country. An even more dramatic example was the trial of the opposition which resulted not only in political prisoners but also in deaths due to torture at prison, which we have condemned in this House on several occasions. The European Union has a responsibility towards democracy and human rights in Equatorial Guinea and some of its Member States have a twofold responsibility. Two of them are currently sitting on the Security Council: France and Spain. I therefore feel that it is essential that the European Union – why not at the suggestion of those countries? – approve a joint action to commit itself to democracy and human rights, and also that it talk to another country that is extraordinarily interested in Guinea, not due to these matters, but because of oil, that is the United States. It is therefore highly important that we retain the paragraph of the Resolution regarding a code of conduct for the oil companies, as we cannot allow them to act without one. Oil, the great resource that is draining the citizens of Equatorial Guinea, is now the crux of the matter and the source of the strength of President Obiang Nguema’s regime. The European Union therefore needs to act firmly; let us adopt this common action, let us talk with the United States, let us make an agreement with Washington and let us also call on the oil companies to fulfil their obligations, quite simply to comply with their obligations towards people. The Commission needs to assess what is happening with oil in Equatorial Guinea. I would even ask for more, I would ask the Commission to consider reopening its office in Malabo. The United States are going to reopen their Embassy. Why? For oil. Let us reopen our office. Why? For human rights and democracy. The European Socialists therefore entirely support this Resolution, because it will be well received by those who, like Celestino Bacale, the CPDS presidential candidate, who brought thousands of supporters together at campaign meetings, will be able to say: the European Union is with us, like President Cox, who in his time spoke clearly and firmly in favour of democracy and human rights in Guinea."@en1
"Black Beach"1

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