Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-05-21-Speech-3-339"

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". Madam President, ladies and gentlemen, natural disasters sadden us all the more because they create so many victims, as recently in China or Burma. They remind us of the value of any human life, and also the fact that we cannot control nature. We wish to send a message of compassion to those suffering natural and political disasters. One of the aims of politicians is to prevent public misfortune from befalling their people. Thus, if they cannot prevent natural disasters, they can attempt to anticipate them and alert the people, and above all they must minimise risk through responsible prevention policies. By way of example, China’s Promethean infrastructure, such as its huge power dams and nuclear power plants, has held out. Yet how long can it hold out? Is it not better to use a larger number of smaller structures to spread the risk, and increase public information on the risks involved? The most tragic situation for the Chinese people, however, is in relation to political disasters. Although we acknowledge the admirable character of this hard-working skilful people and its sensitive culture, we can judge political acts without delving too far into domestic policies. Its calamitous single-child policy is a major disaster. It affects children, the large numbers of peasant families obliged to dispose of daughters, a poor source of revenue that does nothing to ensure the continuity of farms and retirement, or the second child who has no right to exist on the orders of Creon. Such is the disdain for human rights when a political order does not allow parents to have as many children as they want. Here again, life is not considered at its true value, but as a mere utilitarian function. Natural disaster and political disaster merge, however, when a school’s roof falls in, crushing the only child and leaving the parents distraught. When the 30 000 journalists expected in Beijing for the Olympic Games arrive there, they should take time out to investigate, beyond mere appearances, the reality of this country which, through overriding power and efficiency, risks losing all respect for human beings, the real basis of the political order."@en1

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