Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-10-24-Speech-3-477"

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"Madam President, Commissioner, I should like to express my support for the proposal for a European Parliament recommendation to the Council on production of opium for medical purposes in Afghanistan. I also wish to congratulate the rapporteur on his courage. Combating the illegal trade in drugs is one of the major global challenges of the contemporary world. The European Union should organise its activities in such a way as to try and effectively control drugs and reduce the supply of drugs in the world on the one hand and, on the other, to increase the availability of analgesics and bring down their prices. The proposal to legalise opium production to meet the needs of the international pharmaceutical industry may well be a useful way of attaining the aforementioned aims. Following the example of Turkey and Australia, licences could also be granted in Afghanistan for the cultivation of poppies used to produce useful analgesics such as morphine or codeine. The specific conditions prevailing in Afghanistan must be taken into account, however, if licensing is to go ahead. Afghanistan is the main supplier of the raw material for the production of opiates in the world. Opium production and trade in Afghanistan have become an important factor in the growth of GDP, the basis of cross-border trade, the main source of income for growers and the only way for most of society to access land, work, and credit. Legalising poppy growing in Afghanistan will make sense only if the right conditions are created. The security situation must improve and the country become politically stable if the national authorities are to ensure effective control of the opium production process. Effective democracy has to come about and state credits be made available to farmers. In addition, the conduct of economic activity should be regulated."@en1

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