Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-01-16-Speech-3-246"

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"Please allow me a few questions and a few comments. What happened to the European Union funds that were at the mission in Nairobi since November? Why was the transfer delayed until the election and the money paid out the day after the election? At that time only preliminary results were available and already there were the first doubts about the reliability of the procedure. Who has control over the use of the funds of EU taxpayers earmarked for development assistance? If there were doubts over the course of the elections, there should have been clear rules set out beforehand to the effect that the funds would not be handed over until the official announcement of the results. When I was in Kenya a month before the elections many people pointed out to me, and the Commissioner also indicated, that the situation could end in violence. Since the financial aid is meant for the people, the condition for providing this aid must not be whether the situation has stabilised or not; otherwise we would have to suspend financial help in more countries, not only in Africa. I reject the use of development assistance as a tool of manipulation. Suspending funds is a form political pressure and those for whom the help was destined will pay the price. Europe’s taxpayers are clubbing together and the people we are helping cannot become the hostages of political leaders. Agreements should not be conditioned by development assistance: often they are not conditioned by respect for human rights. The people in Kenya need our help, whether they support Kibaki or Odinga. They live next to each other in slums, in extreme poverty. We are aware that there were elections in Africa. According to people from Kenya, even if the counting of the results was possibly not accurate overall, the results would not have changed anything. Therefore, we should not be punishing the people who depend on our aid, and I am thinking of Europeans as well as of Slovaks, who despite the serious situation have stayed put and continue to complete the bilateral projects. I can guarantee that the funds for these projects are being used effectively and without corruption."@en1

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