Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-04-05-Speech-3-347"

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"Mr President, I too should like to congratulate the Commissioner on her stamina. All evening, she has been listening to a persistent misunderstanding under which the Members of this House labour. The European Union is not an insurance company. Where entrepreneurs run risks, they should take out insurance, and that they can do. When France was plagued by FMD, the French Government provided a soft, low-interest loan and the cattle farming industry subsequently paid for the damage it had suffered by means of a disaster fund they had set up themselves, and that is how things should be done. The European Union cannot be held responsible for all damage suffered by a sector, in whatever industry. If a sound insurance system in poultry farming is lacking, we will have no choice but to take action. That is the European Union’s only option. What action, though, can it take? It cannot push up export subsidies, because that would be a scandal. It would be unacceptable to pass on our problem to the developing world. It would also distort the world market and is at odds with negotiations and agreements within the WTO. What can be done is to encourage Member States, in the event of an outbreak of a crisis, to grant poultry farmers soft loans of the kind I have referred to. Looking at the measure that the Commission is advocating, I can, to some degree, see where they are coming from, but I think that we must first call for a sound insurance system to be in place for the poultry farmers themselves, because then entrepreneurs will be shouldering their own responsibility, and that is something in which they can take real pride."@en1

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