Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-02-02-Speech-3-115-000"

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"Mr President, I did not particularly wish to revisit the past, but I am hearing some surprising speeches. I think that in recent times, for months now, we were practically the only ones, along with a few MEPs from the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, to call for a debate on the situation in Tunisia. As Mr Cohn-Bendit rightly said, there are indeed many last-minute resistance fighters. We could say a lot about the past, but we said it in our resolution and we think that we should focus first and foremost on the future. First of all, we must avoid interfering in any way in the internal affairs of these countries. It is not up to us, as Europeans, to say what the composition of these countries’ governments should be. The Tunisian people acted alone to free itself from a dictatorial regime. We must allow it to express itself and support it on the road to democracy. Anyone following the situation in Tunisia knows that the past is not yet dead and buried and that there are people pulling strings and plotting behind the scenes. Today, the violence happening in Egypt also shows that things are difficult. So, yes, do strongly condemn all the violence, and do not just call for it to be scaled down, as you did in the case of Tunisia. Police violence is always unacceptable: it is as unacceptable today as it was in the past; it is as unacceptable in Tunisia and Egypt as it is elsewhere. Let us ask the Tunisian authorities and the Tunisian people what they expect without imposing anything on them. You reviewed your discussions with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, but you added, without seemingly having been asked, that you wanted to increase market access in Tunisia. That is rather inappropriate, in my view, as there has been no shortage of help from the European Union in that area. Everybody appears to be waking up today to the corruption of Mr Ben Ali’s regime. Yes, economic liberalisation in Tunisia has benefited the Ben Ali and Trabelsi families thanks to the European Union’s help. Yes, the European Union must be firm with regard to all human rights violations. The European Union has lost a great deal of credibility in these countries. Yes, finally, we must support the democrats and condemn all dictatorships."@en1

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