Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2017-07-03-Speech-1-064-000"

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"Mr President, we are here discussing the spending of EU funds, and money which rightfully belongs to the taxpayer, to be given to Moldova in what is known as macro-financial assistance. I see plenty of politics here, and plenty of expectations being placed on Moldova in return for the cash, but let us be honest here: Moldova ranks at a miserable 127th place in Transparency International’s measure of corruption, lower down than Pakistan and Communist Cuba. The explanatory statement that comes with this report says that the free trade agreement between the European Union and Moldova has contributed to the process of economic recovery. Well, that is what free trade does! If only the European Union actually focused on breaking down barriers to trade rather than creating them, perhaps it would be less of a negative force throughout the world. The Economic Freedom Index places Moldova worse than countries like Rwanda and Swaziland when it comes to being attractive to trade and investment. The solution, here again, is not to give Moldova more money: the solution is for Moldova to become more competitive. Is giving so much money to a country so notorious for official corruption and economic poor performance really a good use of taxpayers’ money? For all our fine words, this is in essence foreign aid being given by taxpayers, so, surely to goodness, it should meet a common-sense definition of what foreign aid is for."@en1

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