Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2015-10-27-Speech-2-097-000"

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"Mr President, as this migrant crisis begins to overwhelm the European Union – and yes, it is an existential crisis – perhaps we should ask ourselves what really is the true nature of this project? I have heard a lot today about rights. Well what about democratic rights? I think what we are seeing is an increasingly authoritarian European Union that crushes democratic rights and then actually crows about it. Every single time there is a crisis, it is national democracy that loses. Back in 2011, we saw the Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi sounding Eurosceptic, removed and replaced by a puppet prime minister. We saw exactly the same thing happen in Greece in 2011. Mr Papandreou threatened a referendum on euro membership, there was a coup against him and he was replaced by a puppet. In this migrant crisis we have seen four countries – led, I guess, by the strongest, Hungary – making it clear they want no part of EU migrant quotas, only to find themselves crushed through EU trickery and made to accept the very thing that they had said ‘no’ to. I never forget seeing the Greek Prime Minister, Mr Tsipras, sitting just over there, having won a general election, and then come to this House to be told the manifesto was unacceptable and it must be ditched. All of this has reached a new low this week, with Portugal. Virtually unremarked upon by the media, and yet, for those that do not know, there is now, following the general election, a left-wing majority with a socialist plan for Portugal – and yet the President of Portugal, Mr Silva, is refusing them office on the grounds that they represent anti-European forces and is allowing the minority Conservative, pro-EU Prime Minister to stay in place. This is the modern day implementation of the Brezhnev doctrine. This is exactly what happened to states living inside the USSR. What has been made clear here, with Greece and indeed with Portugal, is that a country only has democratic rights if it is in favour of the project. If not, those rights are taken away. Perhaps none of this should surprise us, as Mr Juncker has told us before that there can be no democratic choice against the European Treaties. The German Finance Minister, Mr Schäuble, has said elections change nothing: there are rules. I think for anyone that believes in democracy, Portugal should be the final straw. It should be the warning that this project – to protect itself and all its failings – will destroy the individual rights of people and of nations. My country has always believed in parliamentary democracy so strongly that twice in the last century it risked everything to fight for parliamentary democracy, not just for Britain but for the rest of Europe too. I actually believe that for all of us who believe in democracy and want to see it re-implemented, the British referendum offers a golden opportunity."@en1

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