Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2012-05-09-Speech-3-173-000"

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"Mr President, it may look very good on paper that the European Union’s trade and investment strategy for the countries involved in the Arab Spring is linked to democratic progress. In practice, the Arab revolution has long since turned in many areas into an Islamic one. The Arab peoples are obviously often more interested in prosperity than they are in democracy. This is precisely what the Islamists, whose organisation extends into even the smallest rural villages, have promised. Democratic values such as minority rights and human rights are something with which the Muslim Brotherhood is not familiar. Following their election successes, the Islamic parties have not only occupied key posts, but are also apparently now attempting to apply pressure on the people. Women, artists and minorities have emerged as the losers from the Arab Spring and the situation of Christians in the Arab world is a particular cause for concern. In Egypt, pressure is being exerted on the Copts and in Iraq, the exodus of the Christian minority has begun. There is also the fear of violence against Christians in a post-Assad Syria. Therefore, in my opinion, EU development aid to the Arab Spring countries should definitely be linked to an obligation to protect Christian minorities. If these countries simply stand by and watch while Christians are discriminated against or even encourage discrimination of this kind, their subsidies must be reduced and, in extreme cases, stopped altogether. In addition, EU funding must be linked to readmission agreements for illegal immigrants. We must monitor carefully whether these countries are prepared to comply with the agreements."@en1

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