Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-02-02-Speech-3-254-000"

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". Madam President, for decades, the European Union has been pursuing a protectionist trade policy, and that applies to bananas, amongst other things. The purpose of our import tax is to keep Latin American bananas out, while at the same time we hand out subsidies to exporting countries who are competitively weak. Most of these subsidies, nearly EUR 300 million a year, go to the outermost regions of the European Union: this is sheer protectionism, over which the EU has had its knuckles rapped many times by the WTO. The European Union is all too keen to present itself as an advocate of international law and free trade, always ready to wag the moral finger at others. However, when it comes to the European Union, we prefer to turn a blind eye. Everything is permitted as long as the unprofitable banana industry on islands such as French Guiana, the Azores and the Canary Islands is protected. We seem all too keen to tolerate the fact that the European taxpayer is having to foot a bill amounting to hundreds of millions of euros every year on such wasteful subsidies. It is high time that we abolished this European mismanagement and that the European Union stopped subsidising this economic inefficiency."@en1

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