Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-10-24-Speech-3-465"

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". Madam President, ladies and gentlemen, I have no doubt whatsoever that Mr Cappato, with whom I have been friendly for a long time, is trying desperately to contribute to the fight against drugs in the world and to help the unfortunate young or older people who are suffering close to death and who can be assisted with drugs. Regrettably, however, I cannot go along with him. Regrettably, I repeat, I am not of the rapporteur’s opinion. I believe the problem stems from the fact that his proposal concerns Afghanistan, a state where insecurity could not be any greater. Yes, Iraq is perhaps less safe, but Afghanistan is hardly the place to begin trying to convince farmers to abandon what for them is the very lucrative cultivation of poppies and switch to crops that are fairer, more Old Testament-like and more in tune with the civilised farming practices we are all familiar with. The report itself makes perfectly plain that the largest quantity of drugs in the world, about half, comes from Afghanistan and that opium growing is illegal in Afghanistan. Even though it is illegal, however, that country is the source of half of the raw materials needed to kill our young people or make them fall prey to drug traffickers who, as we know, draw them into the use of drugs, which harms them and society as a whole. I believe that there is only one effective weapon to combat all drug traffickers, beginning with the Afghan farmers who in my opinion are the first drug traffickers. Our inability to control and monitor them means that the only way to fight drugs is through prevention, and hence by helping to reduce opium-growing as much as possible. For this reason the PPE-DE Group opposes this part of Mr Cappato’s report, and I think that what I am saying now must be clear to everyone, whatever tomorrow’s outcome may be."@en1

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