Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2013-05-22-Speech-3-480-000"

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"Madam President, we must be very cautious if we intend to include Iraq in the list of countries to which stolen or frozen assets are returned. There is mounting concern that Iraq is once again descending into chaos and potential civil war. Seventy-one people have been killed in the past week alone. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have taken to the streets in protests which have continued now for months. They are outraged at what they regard as an emerging dictatorship led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who many regard as a puppet of the Iranian regime. Although oil production has been restored to an all-time high, with an estimated USD 80 billion in earnings last year alone, much of this money simply disappears. Minorities are routinely persecuted, violently attacked and excluded from public-sector jobs. The Christian minority, one of the oldest in the world, has dwindled from more than 1.5 million 10 years ago to just over 300 000 today. I fear that any assets released back to this corrupt and venal regime will simply disappear into the black hole of corruption that is already swallowing that country’s future."@en1

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