Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-10-24-Speech-3-490"

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"Madam President, I too would like to congratulate Mr Lechner on his report. I want to start with, as it were, a confession. Before I arrived in this House I was a lawyer. In fact I was not only a lawyer, but a lawyer dealing in debt collecting, often cross-border. My experience in this area is that the most damage is caused to small enterprises that have plucked up courage to trade cross-border, and are then ruined by a bad debt and a professional debtor hiding in another country. I therefore consider this initiative to be a way, if we can get it right, of boosting Europe’s economy and encouraging cross-border trade. We have to get tough. The payment order was a step in the right direction. This is the next piece in the jigsaw. However, I have two points to make. First of all, we are dealing with cross-border cases only. We accept the reality of that constraint, but what I do not want to see is creditors having to make two applications to courts: one in respect of debtors in the home country, followed by another in a different country, cross-border. That may give the debtor warning and it may cause all sorts of complications. We therefore need to ensure that there are concurrent procedures available. Secondly, this is, of course, a balance of interests between the creditors and the debtors. We have a good system in England, under which when you are given such an interim measure, you have to provide an undertaking to the court, in damages, to respect the interests of third parties. This may be the bank that has to organise the attachment, or a third party that might hold a joint account. I would recommend a system along those lines. I commend the report and the ideas in it. I believe it could do much to boost Europe’s economy if we get things right."@en1

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