Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2005-06-23-Speech-4-064"

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"Mr President, I welcome Mr Blair and thank him for staying for the entire debate here this morning. Last weekend’s political sparring and lack of conclusion to the summit was not worthy either of you, Mr Blair, nor of Mr Chirac. Where was the Tony Blair of the Good Friday Agreement, a man of understanding and goodwill, who could bring both sides of an intractable conflict to the table; a man who showed singular courage on the Iraq question, regardless of our views of the right or wrong. It may well be good for you and for your image at home, Mr Blair, to stand up to the French and to play to the residual, historic emotion that finds resonance in British chemistry. But remember the 100 Years War in the Middle Ages: the British came out of it with much less than they went in. Fontainebleau was Margaret Thatcher’s Agincourt, when she walked away with the British rebate, and now, 20 years on, that rebate is worth a farthing in the pound of British GDP. Yet, Mr Blair, you are prepared to sacrifice Europe’s budget agreement and the European project to continue being the populist servant of Mr Murdoch and his newspapers. If Kohl or Mitterrand had been at the table last weekend, we would have had a conclusion. We are politically rudderless in Europe and the real crisis in Europe is the lack of political leadership. Mr Blair, you were right to say that we must modernise Europe’s social model on the basis of a strong economy and not at the expense of it. It is true that we urgently need to peel back regulation and that China is investing threefold in research and innovation. However, splitting hairs over decimal points on the budget last weekend has put Europe’s ambitious Seventh Framework Programme for doubling funding on research on ice. So much for the Lisbon mission. What about the common agricultural policy, Mr Blair? What exactly is your intention in relation to that? Do you understand the income crisis that exists among the vast majority of our farmers across the Europe of 25? Have you forgotten the unanimous agreement on radical reform of the CAP that you personally endorsed and your government signed up to only 18 months ago?"@en1
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