Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-02-02-Speech-3-108-000"

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"Mr President, Baroness Ashton, you are appealing for calm. However, call a spade a spade! It is Mr Mubarak’s troops which have brought terror to the square, today, in Egypt, not the demonstrators! So, do not appeal for everyone to be calm. Ask Mr Mubarak to stop attacking the demonstrators, because he is doing that so that he can then say: ‘I am going to restore order amid this chaos’. That is the trap he is setting for us, and all we can do is say to both sides, ‘Calm down!’ No, emphatically not. We must tell Mr Mubarak to calm down, and the best way to calm things down is for him to clear off, to get out. Then there will be calm in Cairo. Did you see that the people who came with knives were Mr Mubarak’s policemen? It was poor people, brought by bus this morning from the depths of Egypt, who caused the trouble. This must be said, Baroness Ashton, and we must not turn a blind eye. There is something that amazes me about you: today you understand everything about what happened, about what was going on in Tunisia three weeks ago. However, when, three weeks ago, we in the European Parliament took the step of calling on you to halt the negotiations on the upgrading of Tunisia because of the dictatorship, you told us that that was not possible. Now, today, it is possible. You are a last-minute resistance fighter. That makes everything clear. I therefore ask one thing of you, Baroness Ashton: tell us where, in the case of Tunisia, Europe has invested its money. Tell us which firms have received European money; tell us which of Mr Ben Ali and his wife’s companies were supported by European money. You can tell us. This Parliament has the right to know. Secondly, Baroness Ashton, since you say that you are now going to support the people of Tunisia, I would ask you to ensure one thing: that there is equality of opportunity in the democratic process during the transition. If there are new elections – as you know, the Tunisian Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD) has money but the opposition parties, which have been prohibited for years, do not – the European Union must play its part in supporting democratic fairness and equality. In the case of Egypt, Baroness Ashton, one thing is clear today: if we do not manage to support the Egyptians in the liberation process, the peoples of the Middle East, the Arab peoples will once again turn their backs on us, at a time when we have an extraordinary situation on our hands, a situation that you also failed to mention, Mr Verhofstadt: in Gaza, a demonstration has been held to support the Egyptians, and Hamas has prohibited that demonstration. That is proof that the wind of freedom is now blowing against the theocracies in the Middle East and in the Arab countries, too, and that it is our job to help them. We have spent years whining, when the only choice was between dictatorships and theocracies. Well, Inshallah! There is a third possibility, which is freedom and the fight for freedom against dictatorships and theocracies, and it is our role as Europeans to support those leading this fight."@en1

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