Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-07-10-Speech-4-154"

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"Mr President, your European voluntarism, your ambition for Europe is a challenge that we share in the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance. I would even say, to paraphrase a song that you know, ‘it is a drug we are all hooked on.’ I can tell you that when you come to write your memoirs, you will regret what you have done. You will regret it because the people who locked up these innocent citizens will be saying to them, ‘You see, we can do what we want: the Western world only wants our markets.’ Mr President, it is a disgrace, it is pathetic, to go to the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. However, there is one thing that I would like to say. If we are ambitious enough to say that we must accept the climate package as it is one minute and that we will bow down before the German car industry lobby the next, then we have lost, because everyone will come and say: ‘do not forget about us’. This is the problem. We cannot complain about petrol being too expensive, yet at the same time allow the car industry to build gas-guzzling vehicles. We have had the technology to build energy-efficient cars for 15 years now, but because there are no rules forcing manufacturers to do this, consumers are now paying for petrol at the price it is. This is the truth of the matter; this is how things are. You mention the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum. Let us have a European Pact on Immigration and Asylum, then. Initiate a dialogue: for legal emigration, let the European Parliament take part under the codecision procedure so that we have a genuine political debate, a genuine democratic debate. I am fed up, Mr Daul, because whenever we talk about emigration, after 15 seconds we start talking about illegal immigration, the threat of immigration. First of all, if Europe is what it is today, it is thanks to the men and women who have built it with us. That is the truth. Please, I am no angel, but we have built a house with no doors. People are coming in through the windows. I say to you: ‘Let us throw open the doors so that people can come into Europe, and then we will decide what to do about those who come in illegally.’ You say to us: ‘We need skilled workers’, yet at the same time, Europe sends home tens of thousands of students each year who have come here to study. Let them stay here; if they have studied here, they are not illegal immigrants. Now turning to the points on which you said that the social dimension is not within Europe’s remit. President-in-Office, you will not protect Europeans if we do not work together to combat social and fiscal dumping. We need Europeans to face up to this problem. We need to put a stop to it, and we stand by you on this. We need to have a discussion with the Central Bank? Let us have a discussion, then. We need to have a discussion with the Irish? Let us have one. We must stop saying that the social dimension is not part of the European remit. This cannot continue. I now wish to turn to the issues on which we are deeply divided. You are going to China to attend the opening of the Olympic Games with the Chinese President. I hope you enjoy it! Personally, I will be thinking of all the prisoners rotting in Chinese prisons. I will be thinking of all those who have been arrested. I will be thinking of all those who are being mistreated in Tibet. You had a golden opportunity to defend the European values of democracy and liberty by saying, ‘I will not attend the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, this masquerade of the Chinese Communist Party.’ This is what we want to hear."@en1

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