Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-10-24-Speech-2-222"

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"Mr President, the European budget is like the theatre of Bertolt Brecht. While ‘Waiting for Godot’ – while waiting for 2014 and own resources – we are managing the most modest of appropriations: EUR 116 billion in payment appropriations, which is not even 1% of gross national income. A game is being played here. For example, the nomenclature has been changed, with a shift from eight headings to six. An attempt has been made at humour: the Europe of 17 million unemployed is referred to under Heading 1 as ‘growth and employment’. The CAP budget, which is destroying farming and fruit and vegetable growing and uprooting 400 000 hectares of land, is referred to under Heading 2 as ‘confirmation of resources’. These changes in form apart, this is a classic budget in every respect. Firstly, it includes a financial framework for 2007-2013, which is contained within an interinstitutional agreement – the fourth of its kind – signed on 17 May. It includes Malthusian sums, for example for agriculture: indeed, market expenditure is going to be wilfully reduced by more than EUR 500 million. It also includes the great classics: EUR 7 billion with which to toy with external policy in the world; EUR 5 billion for a research framework programme that will not research much; and EUR 850 million for the trans-European networks. All of that, while we await the 2008-2009 review during which every issue will be discussed – not only the UK rebate but also, and above all, agriculture and the agricultural budget. The great budget debate will therefore take place between 2010 and 2014. While we wait to discuss the fisheries sector, Erasmus and the citizens, and if we cannot take tea – since it is almost 5 p.m. – we prefer, during this afternoon’s budget debate, to exchange the little budgetary titbits with which our rapporteur has embellished his magnificent report, which is, all the same, very pleasing."@en1

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