Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-09-03-Speech-3-379"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of my group I should like to thank the rapporteur, Mr Kirkhope, most sincerely. He has presented a very balanced report and has worked very closely with the shadow rapporteurs. His version, which he has negotiated with the French Presidency, affords consumers better protection against dubious flight and rail offers based on clear regulations on transparency and at the same time ensures fair competition between rail companies and airlines. Incidentally, the recast version documents the fact that the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats as the first group had rightly stopped the Commission’s attempt in 2005 to abolish this regulation as obsolete. We need it – and we shall prove it by the way we vote – to protect consumers. Even if more and more travellers do in fact reserve their tickets directly with the airlines or on the Internet, the majority of consumers will continue to rely on their travel agencies, which for their part must be able to rely on non-discriminatory, genuine bargain offers in the computerised reservation system. The prices indicated must in future include all taxes and charges so that the travel agencies can pass genuinely transparent and comparable offers on to the consumer. The parent companies should also be subject to tighter regulations on transparency and competition in future in order that the systems are prevented from making preferential offers to the disadvantage of other airlines and to the disadvantage of consumers. I must come back here to the rapporteur and appeal to my fellow Members. I believe the version we have agreed with the French Presidency in relation to parent companies offers adequate protection against positive discrimination in favour of certain airlines. Any change made by the famous amendment to Amendment 48 is therefore totally superfluous and if this goes through tomorrow, it would delay the adoption of the whole thing or even call it into question. I appeal to you to take a clear, final decision tomorrow in order to protect consumers."@en1

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