Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2004-05-03-Speech-1-019"
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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I am deeply honoured that it should have fallen to me to utter the first words in Polish in this House. Polish is the language of over 40 million Europeans. Before our eyes, ladies and gentlemen, the division of Europe is coming to an end, a division whose sources date back to the Second World War. In these days of joy and emotion, it is fitting, therefore, to remember all those to whom the New Europe is indebted for its reunification. I would like to pay homage to the millions of my countrymen, soldiers and civilians, who were victims of the Second World War. Unfortunately, their blood, spilled on the fields of battle, only secured peace and prosperity for one part of Europe. I would like to pay homage to all those in Poland and Central Europe who, in the Stalinist era, sustained the flame of freedom on the other side of the Iron Curtain. Their inspiration was varied: from democratic socialism through liberalism to Christian-democracy and conservatism. Today we must also pay homage to the political prisoners and victims of the Stalinist terror, although many of them did not live to see a united Europe. As a Pole, I take particular pride in pointing out to the House that today’s celebrations would not be taking place were it not for the spiritual inspiration of our great fellow countryman, His Holiness John Paul II. He inspired the powerful social movement that led to the fall of Communism. President Lech Walesa, the leader of this movement became a symbol of the struggle for democracy and human rights for the world. He is our guest today in this Chamber. I also want to recall with pride that the leaders of my party [Law and Justice], as well as many of its members, were active participants in the movement for political independence that was . At this time I would also like to express gratitude to two great leaders of the Western world whose steadfast attitude in the eighties helped break the fetters that bound the nations of Eastern and Central Europe. I would like to thank Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and President Ronald Reagan. The great task now before us is to make certain that the fruits of the reunification of the continent are fairly divided among all the nations of the New Europe. Our Union for Europe of the Nations Group will do everything to ensure that the New Europe gives new meaning to the word solidarity."@en1
"Prawo i Sprawiedliwosc"1
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