Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-02-02-Speech-3-263-000"

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". Mr President, Mrs Balzani, ladies and gentlemen, Commissioner, I would like to thank the Commissioner for having already addressed several questions and concerns. Still, please allow me to mention some myself. Many have expressed concern over what will happen to ACP countries. The proposal for Banana Accompanying Measures has been created for the very reason of assisting and compensating them, and will, as we know, compensate these countries with an annual amount of approximately EUR 190 million for the heavy burdens placed on them by the cessation of the duty-free banana import regime. The other concern raised was about what will happen if we lower duties even further, and continue liberalisation. Now let us not forget that the current topic is the conclusion and strengthening of the Geneva Agreement on Trade in Bananas, and the European Parliament and the Council will still have the opportunity to discuss whether they intend to support additional free trade conventions with Andean countries and Central America later, when, of course, the Commission submits its relevant proposal. Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that the conclusion of the banana agreement will put an end to a trade debate that has been going on for fifteen years, and this is certainly a welcome development. This outcome will strengthen the EU’s negotiating position in international trade talks, especially in the ongoing Doha negotiations of the World Trade Organisation. I believe that there is a need for us to continuously keep all those concerns and questions you have voiced here in relation to solidarity – concerns which pertain exactly to the poorest countries – on the agenda, and to look for joint solutions, but to give a green light to this banana trade agreement and the law repealing the previous agreement. I therefore ask the European Parliament to decide on expressing its consent to the banana trade agreement tomorrow."@en1

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