Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-05-21-Speech-3-334"

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". Madam President, Mr President-in-Office, Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, my Group endorses the expressions of sorrow and sympathy made to the Chinese people by the Council and the Commission following the horrific earthquake of 12 May. We offer our sincere condolences to all those who have been left bereaved or injured as a result of the earthquake. We also welcome the fact that the Chinese authorities have initiated rapid rescue measures, and we welcome the Chinese Government’s willingness to accept foreign aid. Let me also voice our hope that it will continue to do so in future, enabling aid to be dispensed effectively at the point of need. In addition, we are pleased that in this case the Chinese Government has also allowed the foreign media to report in detail on the earthquake, and we hope that it will permit foreign reporting on the reconstruction effort in the affected areas too. We particularly regret that so many pupils died when buildings in state schools collapsed, and we support the declared intention of the Chinese authorities to investigate the reasons why schools might not have been built to withstand earthquakes and to hold those responsible to account. Above all, we are willing to give the Chinese people the assistance they need. They do not need large sums of money, for they possess the world’s largest currency reserves. What they need is practical help, and we Europeans and our Member States can provide that help, and we thank the Commissioner for the aid measures he has already initiated. We shall support every action designed to help the people in the disaster areas and to assist them in the reconstruction of their villages. Some may have to be resettled in other areas. We shall provide the aid that is required for that purpose. It is truly a great human tragedy, and we empathise with the population of the stricken areas and with the entire Chinese nation."@en1

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