Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-05-08-Speech-4-078"

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"Mr President, the report’s eulogy of sport is something one can only agree with. Sport means a great deal for society, and it creates many important values to which I can hardly do justice in only two minutes. It also contributes to bringing Europe together. However, just because something is important, that does not mean it is political, and just because something contributes to bringing Europe together, it is not a primary responsibility of the EU. That is something which I think is being lost in this debate, not least if people maintain that more sport-related initiatives should be taken at EU level. That is not what I think. Therefore I do not consider that we need a special European gambling police. I do not think that sports agents earn too much money, and that there should be an argument for us to create special training for sports agents. Nor should we even out incomes between successful and less successful clubs. Trying to limit what the report calls the excessively busy schedules of athletes will probably not get them to resist doping. However, we must examine a number of false assertions made about the gambling market in Europe. There is no connection between private players in the gambling market and match-fixing. On the contrary, some of the biggest scandals we have seen in Europe have affected countries with monopolies. There is no connection between gambling monopolies and a restrictive gambling policy. On the contrary, many of the state monopolies in Member States are some of the largest advertisers. It is not countries with competition that have an unregulated gambling market. On the contrary, it is in many countries with monopolies that gambling services are most poorly regulated and monopolies can most frequently do as they will. We should not attempt through incorrect facts to keep the EU out of an area in which the EU actually has an important role to play. We have free movement of services in Europe, which should, of course, also apply to gambling services. The Member States’ false figures about gambling addiction often conceal pure protectionism and protection of their own revenue from gambling monopolies. In fact, all this hypocrisy about gambling policy merely shows that it is the finance ministers in the Member States who are suffering from the worst kind of gambling addiction. That is why we Swedish Conservatives find it very difficult to support large parts of this report."@en1

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