Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-02-02-Speech-3-255-000"

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"Madam President, I would respectfully inform Mr Campbell Bannerman that his banana is not from the Canary Islands. Ladies and gentlemen, I am going to talk about bananas in this plenary sitting and I think that it is positive that bananas are being talked about here. It is positive because it is important to reiterate the need for EU banana producers to be protected, including those in the Canaries. I think this because I believe that the conclusion of the Geneva Agreement on Trade in Bananas is not good news for EU producers. Moreover, there are aspects of the resolution that we are debating today that are not completely satisfactory from the point of view of agriculture and of protecting EU banana producers. However, I am aware that this proposal originates with the Committee on International Trade, whose criteria relating to several issues are very different from those that I am able to have. I will therefore assess the positive aspects of the proposal and not the negative ones. It is positive that it brings to a close so many years of disputes in the World Trade Organisation, thus restoring tranquillity to a sector that needs certainty and stability for the future above all else. EU producers belong to the outermost regions, which have enormous problems producing bananas – or excellent-quality ones, anyway – and whose banana production is nothing like that in third countries in any respect, including in terms of cost, workforce, the environment or of plant protection safeguards. From an agricultural point of view, it is important to stress that the agreement is damaging to EU producers. We are facing drastic cuts in tariffs, from EUR 176 to EUR 114 per tonne and EUR 75 per tonne in the case of the agreements with Colombia and Peru. Therefore, Commissioner, with all due respect, I can tell you that it is not credible that there were provisions for this drop in tariffs in the financial detail of the 2006 Programme of Options Specifically Relating to Remoteness and Insularity (POSEI), because it is not true. The Commissioner said that it was provided for in relation to the Geneva Agreement; let us bear in mind that this tariff is EUR 114. There could never have been provision in 2006 for the tariff to decrease to EUR 75 as there is following these agreements. I therefore believe that the necessary evaluations should be carried out and it will be confirmed that it is absolutely necessary for the financial details of the agreement to be updated because the Commission already saw the tariff of EUR 176 per tonne itself as low when it was implemented. EU producers are not, therefore, asking for anything that is not wholly justified, and we in Parliament have an obligation to protect them, as does the Commission."@en1

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