Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-04-23-Speech-1-235"
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substitute; Committee of Inquiry into the crisis of the Equitable Life Assurance Society (2006-01-19--2007-06-19)3
". Mr President, the Socialist Group in the European Parliament is happy to embrace the initiative taken by the Commissioner in this Green Paper. This is the very reason why we would argue that it is wise not to specify at this stage that the scope of a number of points should not be looked into further. We want the Commission to be given ample opportunity to examine a number of things properly and to follow them up with impact assessments to study their effects. After all, I can imagine that with regard to the Green Paper, we too will reach the conclusion that that is not the most obvious route to take and that indeed, a number of things need not be further elaborated or fleshed out; we do not wish to take a decision on this at this moment though. This is why we are calling on the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats to reconsider a number of those points or possibly to provide a formula which leaves slightly more room for what the conclusion should be, so as to in any event give the Commission the opportunity to look into this further. We will then also look at our own amendments in a critical light. I would hereby like to invite you to take another closer look at this tomorrow. As for me, I should also like to address this point from a Dutch angle as we in the Netherlands are having a heated debate on this very topic at the moment; finally, people are experiencing what competition policy at European level means and how we fight these cartels, because in a recent Dutch case, the Commissioner has charged high fines to beer brewers. This is, of course, a topic on which the whole of the Netherlands assumes to be an authority. It was a very telling example, because this beer cartel involved price agreements among beer brewers, who also have enormous influence on the hotel and catering industry and as a result of which people, the eventual customers, paid over the odds for their beers, something which was already subject of discussion in the Netherlands ever since the introduction of the euro. This example, though, demonstrated once again that the fines that are then levied are first fed to the European Commission before they are channelled back to the Member States, and do not end up directly with these consumers. Hotel and catering entrepreneurs are likely to take legal action against these beer brewers to see if they can recover any of the damage, but this is of no use to the consumer, the end user. In that sense, it is very interesting as an example to see how headway can be made; after all, the eventual end user is being conned by cartels of this kind. This example also proves my point, and so I should like to call on this House to keep the door open and to find out how we can let the consumer, the end user, benefit more from this cartel policy."@en1
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