Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-05-24-Speech-4-046"

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"Madam President, the natural environment is very important. Indeed, it is one of the most important issues today. The natural world is an independent part of our surroundings. We did not create it and we should certainly protect it. However, protecting the environment cannot become an alibi for certain small groups of environmental activists who resort to blackmailing specific regions and governments. For reasons that are rather more political than environmental, and due to expected material gains, these groups are trying to block the construction of roads, bypasses and airports. A classic example of the misuse of environmental arguments is the campaign against the construction of an airport in Świdniku, near Lublin, in Poland. The colony of marmots is the reason given. However, no mention is made of the fact that this was not their original habitat and that, according to experts, they could be safely relocated to another site. Similarly dubious arguments are used by environmentalists to argue against other planned investments in Central and Eastern Europe, including the Via Baltica. No mention is made of the fact that a referendum in Poland produced a definite majority in favour of the project in the region where the bypass is supposed to be built. European environmental regulations cannot be applied automatically, without acknowledging that specific cases exist. We should use our common sense and not be led by ideological feelings. Use of the environment as a scarecrow could be prevented by more investment in infrastructure in the new Member States. Let us not forget that these investments really do influence peoples’ quality of life, and that their right to good quality infrastructure is at least as important as environmental considerations."@en1

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