Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-01-14-Speech-1-052"

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"Mr President, I rise to raise what may seem, on the face of it, a rather mundane issue: the implementation of the European Water Framework Directive of 2000 in Ireland. The sad fact is that this Directive is being implemented in Ireland by the Irish Government by charging schools for water usage. Because most schools in Ireland are funded to a large extent by voluntary fundraising, this essentially means that parents must raise the money to pay for the water. That would be bad enough, but the Irish Government has decided to blame Europe for this decision, when of course it is entirely a matter for the Irish Government as to what policy it implements in relation to implementing the Water Directive. The sensitivity of the issue arises because we are having a referendum in Ireland to make a political decision, and a cowardly political tactic to blame Europe for the Government’s decision runs the risk of alienating all the parents in Ireland against Europe. This is, in my view, a serious matter and I would urge the President of Parliament and the Vice-President of the Commission, who is here today, to make it clear to the Irish Government and to make a public statement to the effect that they are free to charge or not to charge schools for water and that they should not be taking risks with the future of Europe with cowardly political tactics."@en1

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