Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2013-02-05-Speech-2-175-000"
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"Mr President, Northern Ireland is an SME economy: 97% of all business is conducted by SMEs. These range from the family-run businesses to the faster-growing enterprises. The best way to support jobs and growth in Northern Ireland is to support SMEs. I welcome this report, and I welcome the steps set out in this report to improve access to finance. We all have stories of how banks have squeezed SMEs and, in some cases, made them unviable by not financing them. I also welcome the commitment of 20% of the Horizon 2020 budget to SMEs, and I look forward to research and innovations at our universities which are more linked to commerce and economic growth. Can I very quickly mention the regional aid guidelines, which have a real potential to disadvantage SMEs in Northern Ireland. We share a land border with the Irish Republic, which has an aggressively low corporation tax. It is important that these guidelines reflect the situation in which we find ourselves."@en1
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