Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-02-02-Speech-3-250-000"

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"Mr President, we all know the meaning of ‘banana republic’. It is a country in which the large banana-producing companies make and break governments at their will. When governments inconvenience them by trying to retain minimum government rights or increase basic wages, they even use coups against them. In these countries, the same companies continue to produce bananas. The destruction of forests and the environment, the miserable working conditions and the use of pesticides banned in the European Union are daily occurrences. At the same time, because of these multinationals, 99% of the bananas we eat are one species, even though there are several thousand species of banana, and this species is at risk of a specific disease as a result of single crop farming. The measures to support the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries were very important and reducing them would have a serious impact on producers in those countries. These are very poor countries that need our help. The European Union is, globally, the biggest and the most profitable banana market. Over coming years, we shall indeed see these huge multinationals trying to gain absolute control of the EU market by ousting smaller producers, and this is honestly where we need to pay attention. The Commission needs to be on the alert to ensure that European competition laws are complied with to the letter, so that we can prevent the large multinationals from abusing their dominant position on the market by artificially depressing prices to start with, in order to oust small producers, and then creating cartels and increasing prices, so that they become very expensive to European consumers."@en1

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