Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-12-13-Speech-4-057"

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"Mr President, I have asked to speak on behalf of my group for two reasons: firstly, for one very general reason – on account of yesterday’s events here in this House – and secondly, because I have a request in connection with the forthcoming votes. Mr President, on behalf of my Group I should like to address the Union for Europe of the Nations Group, particularly Mr Crowley, although I do not know whether he is here, with regard to the votes – that is, the votes on the resolutions on extremism, the EU/China human rights dialogue, Montenegro and the ban on land mines. The UEN Group is a co-signatory to these resolutions. As long as no official apology is forthcoming from the UEN Group for yesterday’s incidents in this House, I see myself, as representative of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament, being unable to continue to cooperate with the UEN Group. In particular I refer to the resolution on combating the rise of extremism in Europe. It was pointed out in the third recital on behalf of the UEN Group, among others, that we condemn racism in Europe and we do so with reference to the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. This should have been signed here yesterday and was shouted down by a large proportion of the members of that group. Please withdraw your signature under this joint resolution. You cannot adopt a resolution relating to the Charter of Fundamental Rights, which you all hooted down yesterday! Yesterday you expressed the fact that you do not want this Charter of Fundamental Rights. Remove your signature! Our cooperation with you is finished! I should like to deal with the general reason first, however. Mr President, would you please issue a statement about yesterday’s events on behalf of my group, particularly about the very specific case, the case concerning our ushers here in this House. I wish to say: it is every man and every woman’s absolute right to be able to express their opinion in this House. We are also accustomed to seeing posters and T-shirts and to everyone being free to express their opinion here. Anyone who is in favour of a referendum is entitled to express this in this House. What we experienced yesterday, however, is not acceptable in the context of this freedom of opinion. We can argue here about what individual fellow Members are doing here, how they conduct themselves, whether or not they shout. One thing is not acceptable, however, and that is that the ushers in this House, for whom – and I speak on behalf of all my fellow Members, of almost all Members, I believe, in this House – I have the greatest personal and professional respect… What is not right – and I also speak specifically on behalf of my fellow Member Mr Daul and, I think, also, on behalf of Mr Watson, Mr Cohn-Bendit and Mr Wurtz – is that ushers in this House are physically and verbally assaulted in a heated debate: ushers, who have been discharging the duties of their office, and were described yesterday as the Gestapo and SS. This is a disgrace, Mr President! I think the House should express its total solidarity with the ushers. Ladies and gentlemen, the ushers in this House are not private individuals; they are officials of this Parliament. They are the long arm of the President in this House. When an usher is physically assaulted here, when an usher is punched here, only one thing is possible: the Member who has done this must be identified! The offence must be reported to the police and his or her immunity must be removed immediately!"@en1

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