Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-01-15-Speech-2-416"

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"The Chatzimarkakis report is supposed to be about the main factors that will make the automotive industry competitive in the years ahead, taking account of environmental constraints, product and safety standards, competitors in the international context, etc. Yet, threaded throughout the text we find evidence of the ongoing urge to persecute drivers. Surely curbing traffic in urban areas and the cross-border enforcement of fines for infringement of traffic rules have no place in such a report? Are Europeans now to be required, on pain of sanctions or higher taxes, to buy ‘clean’ vehicles fitted with expensive safety-related technologies, while the reality in a country like France is that the high average age of cars on the road (eight years) is a reflection of people’s financial difficulties and low purchasing power? Why are private cars yet again castigated, when they are responsible, in France for example, for just 13% of CO2 emissions, and that figure is certainly lower in countries that do not use nuclear energy? There is a basic paradox here in seeking to have a competitive automotive industry in Europe, when the overall thrust of European policies is to push up the price of cars and to impoverish consumers, while at the same time introducing new forms of persecution to dissuade people from buying and using vehicles."@en1

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