Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-05-21-Speech-3-335"

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". Madam President, Commissioner, Mr Lenarčič, ladies and gentlemen, first of all, on behalf of the Socialist Group, I want to join with all those who have expressed their deepest sympathies with the bereaved families of the tens of thousands of victims of the terrible earthquake that hit Sichuan province. I also want to express my full solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of people who lost the roof over their head or were forced to leave their homes as a result of this disaster. A short while ago we debated the situation in Burma and criticised the completely unacceptable behaviour of the Burmese junta. China, in complete contrast with Burma, must be praised. China immediately asked the international community for help and opened its borders to foreign aid. I also approve, just like my fellow Member, the openness of the Chinese authorities, both at national level and in Sichuan province. I welcome the way they dealt with organising the rescue work and informing the public, both at home and abroad, on the events of the disaster. For example, this up-front information provided also included the confession that, apart from tens of thousands of victims, thirty-two sources of radioactive emissions were also buried in the rubble. Both the Commissioner and Mr Lenarčič informed us of the extent of the humanitarian aid that the European Union has offered and provided to China. I am thanking them both for the speed with which the Commission and the Council have acted, and I am also calling on them to ensure that the European Union is prepared to respond quickly to potential requests for further help by our Chinese partners, not only in regard to humanitarian aid but also with rebuilding affected areas, if help is asked for."@en1

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