Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-05-21-Speech-3-352"

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"I think that it is very important that the European Parliament has decided to dedicate today's debate to the natural disaster in China. Primarily in order to be able to give China a message, on the one hand expressing the European Union's condolences, and, as Mrs Grabowska expressed it, to convey to China and its people the European Union's solidarity with them. The difference is also obvious in the tone of the debate held on this, and that on the immediately preceding item. And of course, part of the reason for this is also the way the Chinese leaders have acted, and we can truly say that its response to this terrible disaster was quick and efficient, that it has used considerable national resources, that it has named or appointed the Prime Minister personally as the aid coordinator. To successfully overcome such difficulties there must be good coordination, and this was obviously achieved. The media also regularly kept the public informed, both nationally and internationally, as to the developments. Foreign journalists were allowed access to the affected areas, and also some foreign experts, according to our information, amongst others from Japan. Therefore I believe that we can be satisfied that in facing this huge disaster and in providing help to its population, the Chinese authorities have been well organised, and above all, that that they are willing to accept foreign aid, including ours. And I can assure you that the Council will continue to be prepared to provide help."@en1

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