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Home arrow newsitems arrow Franco - Italian Sarkozy - Berlusconi 2010 Summit: For EU Autonomy on Energy, Defence, and Economy+

Franco - Italian Sarkozy - Berlusconi 2010 Summit: For EU Autonomy on Energy, Defence, and Economy+

Written by ACM
Friday, 09 April 2010

 imag0204_400

*Angelo Marcopolo/Paris/-  A strong will to meet a vital need for EU's Autonomous Development on Energy and Economy, but also on Sovereignity/Political issues such as Defence etc. was clearly expressed at the 2010 Franco - Italian Summit, by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, adding a GeoPoliticaly complementary dimension to EU's Franco-German "motor".

Now that all 3 Big EU Member Countries are not only better fit to spearhead closer EU integration after the recent entry into force of Lisbon Treaty's "Reinforced Cooperations" New Mecnaism, since all their 3 Leaders, of the same political ChristianDemocrat/EPP family, benefit from Solid Electoral Mandates for the Years to come, but given also Italy's Strategic Geographic location as a central EU-Africa Bridge  for the new Franco-German High Tech plans to produce and transport Solar Energy from Sahara to the EU via the Mediterranean with the "Desertec" and "TransGreen" Environment-friendly projects, (See relevant "EuroFora"'s NewsReports).

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    The move includes also Space High Tech. developments, where important contracts are due to be signed soon, as experienced former EU Commission's vice-President and currently Foreign Minister of Italy, Franco Fratini told "EuroFora", (See infra).

    - "This (2010) Summit is just the Tip of the Iceberg concerning the joint work prepared by Ministers, ... which will unfold during the forthcoming Weeks and Months' developments", French President Sarkozy indeed warned from the outset, stressing that "France and Italy are linked by an extremely Strong Friendship, Proximity and Convergence of Views".

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    Significantly, Sarkozy was speaking just 1 week before  a scheduled meeting between Berlusconi and German Chancelor Merkel at Hannover, pointing towards growing coordination at EU's core.  - "Italy is naturaly one of the big EU Countries with which France has particularly close links, but it's obviously only by joining that together with Germany and other EU Countries that European policies can move forward. And in sectors such as Defence, f.ex. the U.K. is also very important for Europe", a well informed source from the French Presidency carefuly told "EuroFora" at Elysee palace.


Fratini appeared particularly happy to "EuroFora" when we reminded the fact that Italy made a remarkable Diplomatic came-back recently at Strasbourg's Pan-European scene by suceeding to elect to the influential Top Job of CoE Parliamentary Assembly's bigest Group of MEPs, that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP's Chairman, (due to become PACE's President in the next few years), among 5 candidates, the young Italian MP, chair of UDC, Luca Volonte

luca_volont_400 

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Reduce Energy dependency from foreign CO2 polluting fossil materials

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    - "The 1st point is Energy Security", Sarkozy declared, paying "Tribute to the Hi storic Decision of the Italian Government of Mr. Berlusconi to make the choice of the Nuclear" Energy, that he qualified as "an extremely Important decision, which will bring France and Italy even closer".


    While currently, Italy's Electricity "depends for almost 80% from Imported commodities", such as Foreign Oil and Gas, as a Spokeswoman of the Italian Power Company ENEL told "EuroFora", in the Future, Rome can start to have its own Production of Electricity at the horizon 2013, by building "at least 4 EPRs ("Evolutionary Pressurized Reactors)", thanks to a cooperation between Enel and EDF, as well as FinMecanica, with Areva Technology" from France, which is due to develop in the Future also towards other projects in 3rd Countries.
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     - "We signed and we are going to sign many operational Agreements in all aspects of the Nuclear sector", because, "our Will is to work hand in hand with the Italian enterprises to develop the Nuclear" Technology, Sarkozy stressed. "The Ambitions of the Italian Government are very important, I think from 2013", and also "France and its enterprises, we are really decided to invest in working with the Italians, to train experts, to develop common activiies between big groups as EDF and ENEL (Electricity Companies of France and Italy), as Ansaldo (of FinMecanica), Areva, etc. That's something that works well, since we had initially launched it at Rome last year, and we want to advance much further today".

     - "We (Italy) were at the Front Row (avant-garde) in the past on the Nuclear sector, and Enrico Fermi, who invented the Nuclear Energy was Italian". So, back "in 1964, we already had a Nuclear Reactor, and, afterwards, another 2", replied Berlusconi. But, "afterwards, there were reactions from the Greens, the Ecologists, and, after a Referendum, the Italian People had decided to renounce to this Enerhy source".

    - However, "the result is that, today, (Italian) Citizens and Businesses pay their Electricity almost + 30% more compared to other EU Citizens and Businesses ! This obviously is a Problem in terms, f.ex. of Competitivity", he denounced. "That's why, the Deecision to relaunch the Nuclear" Energy "is necessary".

    - For thut purpose, "we must ensure the Citizens who live in areas where Reactors will be built, that these units are entirely Safe", the Italian Prime Minister stressed, speaking in the presence of French and Italian Environment Ministers Jean-Louis Borloo and Stefania Prestigiacomo, (from the Historic city of Syracuse, where she had organized in 2009 the G-8 Environment Summit), who declared their intention to develop Cooperation in Nuclear Safety and RadioProtection, and take joint positions at a European and Global level.

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    - "President Sarkozy reminded me that many French Nuclear Units, at any case, are located near the Alps" mountains, "and, therefore, (close) to our Borders. In consequence, if ever occured an accident - something unthinkable - the consequences would be felt equally in Italy", Berlusconi observed. But "we plan to launch TV campains, in cooperation with French TVs, to make some Interviews (and) inform the Italian People on the views of those who already live close to Nuclear Reactors in France". Because "there will be, indeed, a Period to prepare the Italian Public Opinion", he anounced.

    Meanwhile, a French Scientist, Professor Francois Cansell, President of the Polytechnic Institute of Bordeaux, speaking later to "EuroFora" at another Paris event, confirmed that he has recently invented a new way to save by decontaminating almost 70% of nuclear waste, allowing even to use anew the Metals contained in them, which has just reached "a Production stage", so that it could be easily used by Italy already before 2013.

A series of Agreements signed today by Borloo, who is also Energy and Sustainable Development Minister, and Scajola, the Italian Economic Development Minister, plan manifold concrete Measures in all aspects of the Nuclear Sector, including Scientific cooperation, Exchanges of University Students, Joint Research projects, a common working group on the Acceptability of Nuclear Energy, etc.
    
    At the same time, Franco-Italian Power Companies ENEL and EDF, as well as FinMeccaica's Ansaldo and Areva Industries, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for more than 5 Years of cooperation in the construction and development of more than 4 EPRs in Italy, and participation in tenders for engineering and supply of numerous EPR projects of EDF in other Countries,

    Reducing Energy Dependency from Foreign Countries in CO2 polluting Fossil raw materials, while Energy needs are due to grow in the foreseable Future, the Franco-Italian move fits a recent Worldwide trend towards a kind of "Nuclear Renaissance", since "at present, there are as many as 55 New Nuclear Power Plants under Construction", which "will add more than 50,000 MegaWats .. in 14 different Countries".

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    EU Defence : + SPACE High-Tech
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    - Speaking afterwards "on European Security", Sarkozy stressed that "Italy and France are, indeed, two Countries which spend a lot for EU's Security". Therefore, going well beyond a flagship decision to link their Mountain Units, where both countries share an "experience", particularly at the Alps, the French President anounced that "we want to do more : We are going to bring closer our (Defence) Industries", where "we have a lot of work to do".

     Indeed, "Lisbon Treaty's entry into force (since December 2009) opens New Perspectives to confirm EU's role as a Global Security Actor", and the EU will be led to take over more and more important responsibilities to guarantee its security and contribute to International Peace and Stability", stresses from the outset a "Joint Statement of the Franco-Italian Summit on Security and Defence".

    "In order to reinforce UE's Capacities, Italy and France intend to seize the New Opportunities opened by the (Lisbon) Treaty for a more Integration of (EU) Member States' Armed Forces, via a Common Security and Defence Policy, and, in the Future, a Real European Defence".

    "A stronger European Defence is also essential in order to reinforce NATO, and the role of Europeans inside the (TransAtlantic) Alliance", Italy and France add, stressing that "a leap forward is needed in EU - NATO relations, for full complementarity and for a more efficient use of resources".

    For that purpose, the two mainstream EU countries want a bigger Visibility of UE's positions inside UNO's Security Council, (particularly) on Crisis - Management", and to undertake "Common Initiatives" in domains such as, "in case of Natural or Humanitarian Disasters, (f.ex. the "Bridging Solidarity Overseas" project, etc) ; Planification Mechanisms for Aleas ; EU level Training ; strengthening Financial Solidarity among EU Member States for the deployment of EU> Operations ; reinforcement of EU's capacity to planify and conduct Military and/or Civic Operations ; perspectives for a Permanent Structural Cooperation (CSP) ; Joint Sea Ship Patrols in the Mediterranean, etc ; develop an integrated European Maritime Policy to fight against illegal Trafficking, Terrorism, Proliferation, illegal Immigration, Piracy, etc., agreeing with "the Spanish (EU) Presidency's proposal to launch .. a European Maritime Security Strategy".

    Being "the 1st Partner of each other in the sector of Arms Production", France and Italy also "confirm their Will to strengthen their cooperation" f.ex. by the "creation of (more) Joint Industrial Clusters", such as "the EuroTorp company on Torpedos" and a joint project for Heavy Torpedosyh, "Horizon SAS in the Navy", "EuroSysnav and Electronicca for Defence Electronics, or MBDA on Missiles", a "Joint Project for the Future Generation of refueling oil Tankers supporting the Navy", etc.
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Fratini to "EuroFora" : Developments on Space High-Tech in view..
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    On the key sector of SPACE High-Tech, the experienced former EU Commission's vice-President, and current Foreign Minister of Italy, Franco Fratini, speaking to "EuroFora", observed that "yes, there will be important developments, even if they will not be signed now (i.e. at the April 9, Paris' Summit), but in the near Future", as he revealed.

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    Fratini's reply to"EuroFora"s question apparently pointed at issues such as, f.ex., the notification of Contracts for the procurement of Telecom Satellites "Sicral 2", before the 'end of April'.  This is added to the recent "Athena-Fidus" Franco-Italian Contracts, and other "manifold realisations" on the Franco-Italian cooperation, as, f.ex. the "Space Alliance between THALES and FINMECCANICA", the Joint Exploitation of Earth Observation facilities, with "exchanges of images" in the framework of EU project MUSIS, where Italy provides Radar, and France Optical data, etc.   

 Meanwhile, Sarkozy is due to meet this week-end Professor Jean-Lou Chameau, Head of  California's private Institute of Technology, the prestigious "CalTech", (No 6 Worldwide according to Shangai's ranking system)  which is hosting also NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (the famous JPL), recently hardly hit by heavy Budget Cuts in NASA's Space Exploration and research to invent innovative Propulsion methodss, needed for New ReUsable Space Vehicles, well beyond the Shuttle, whose decomissioning is notoriously close. (See "EuroFora"'s NewsReports from Strasbourg's International Space University's Annual 2010 Conference's debates on the controversial 2011 Obama's draft NASA Budget reductions and/or changes, published on Feb. 2010).


    While Europe's Paris-based ESA's political leadership is notoriously searching for years (at least since the 2005 Berlin Summit) to find a reliable International cooperation on how to invent new reusable Space vehicles, (refused in the Past by the USA, while Russia's offer to cooperate had been droped by the mere lack of  only .. one vote, as ESA's well informed sources have said to "EuroFora"), recent Budget Cuts, obviousy aggravated by the 2008-2009 Financial Crisis, might also have a .. positive consequence, if those concerned really feel that "these are Good Times to Cooperate", as "EuroFora"'s questions at ISU's 2010 Symposium have recently suggested... (See February 2010 NewsReports from the International event).
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    + Moreover, in a hardly veiled, implicit but obvious call to Turkey, the Franco-Italian leaders practically backed EU Parliament's explicit call to Ankara to stop blocking full EU - NATO Cooperation, ('from Kosovo up to Aghanistan', as Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt earlier observed in reply to an "EuroFora" founders'  question (See 2008 Publication on Bildt as rotating CoE Chairman in office at TCWeekly) :  - '

    On "Desarmament", the Franco - Italian leadership underlined their "Serious Concern on the issue of  Iran's Nuclear program, and stressed the importance for an immediate and full respect by Iran of its International Obligations'", as they said in Paris the same week that Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan notoriously refused any threat of Sanction vis a vis "my dear Friend Ahmadinejad",a he called the controversial president of Iran, and obviously banalized Nuclear Weapons' Proliferation in the area by implicitly but surely accusing Israel to already have Nuclear Bombs, "without anyone making a fuss about it"...

    Added to NATO's 6Oth Anniversary Summit's 2 Days-long Blockade by Turkey's controversial demands vis a vis its New Secretary General, former Danish Prime Minister Anders Rasmussen, (See "EuroFora"s NewsReports from the landmark event, which marked also new USA President Barack Obama's 1st visit to Europe), all this makes at least ..three (3) Turkish Blockades of Euro-American Cooperation on serious issues, in a row...

    If EU takes also into account notoriously Massive (in)"Human Trafficking" by illegal immigrants dumped from the Turkish Borders within  the EU, either by unscrupulous negilgence, or because some inside Turkish Authorities  probably close their eyes and forget their obligations, (with the result to start finding Turkey-originated illegal immigrants infiltrating the EU up to .; Belgium, the Netherlands, or even in the UK, which are hindered to expulse them because of European Court Human Rights' finding that by sending People back f.ex. to ill-equiped and submerged Greece, it might tantamount to "ill-treatment", since, at any case, it's difficult to bring them back to Turkey, because they risk to ne exposed even to Torture or other Inhuman and Degrading Treatments, (as many recent ECHR Decisions communicated to CoE's Committee of Ministers on March 2010 in Strasbourg, reveal.
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3) Economy (€ + Climate Contribution at EU Borders): No Unfair Competition

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EU and Global Economy was the 3rd big point at the 2010 Franco-Italan Summit, only a few Months before France takes over the G 8 and G 20 Chairmanship :

    - "Italy must get involved, in order to bring the strength which represents the 3rd Economy of Europe", stressed from the outset Sarkozy, while Berlusconi said that "inside an EU where our Economies represent almost 40% of EU's GDP, working together is something necessary and positve".

    Therefore, "we want to work together .. on very Important Issues", as "on the regulation of Raw Materials' Prices, (not only Agricultural : All Raw Materials"), "on the developments of EU's Competition system", etc. including during the forthcoming, 2010's Autumn Chairmanship of the G8 and G 20. And "we ask to support the interests of (EU's) Common Agricultural Policy, which is an element of Power : ... We can't impose to our Agricultural productors Rules of Food Security and transparency, which are not respected anywhere else in the World, and continue to Import Products which don't respect the (Environmental) Rules", Sarkozy stressed.

    -"We shall make Proposals" also "on the Financial "Contribution at EU's Borders for the Climate" protection, the French President anounced. - "Italy and France refuse a kind of Naïvety : We demand to study the Climate Contribution at EU's Borders in order to protect our Industries".  
    
    - "Indeed, .. we confirmed our wish to work together for a Europe which protects its Citizens :.. Its Enterprises and the interests of each one of its Citizens", agreed Berlusconi, anouncing also the "signature of some 20 agreements".

    - "That's precisely the Vision we have for Europe", replied also Sarkozy o a Journalist's question. "Europe is made in order to protect, but this doesn't mean .. protectionism". "However, if sometimes Europe is misunderstood by Europeans themselves, it's because they feel that all other Regions in the World are protecting themselves, while Europe should not over-protect". In fact, "Europe must Invest in Innovation, and, at the same time, ask for Fair Competition and refuse Unfair Competition", he stressed.

    - When "the US President (Obama) defends the interests of the American Economy",  "it's perfectly normal", and "nobody makes hip a reproach for that", Sarkozy observed, after his return from the USA, where both EU leaders were due to go again next Monday. - "We shall go to Shangai's International Exhibition, in China, to India, etc. in Asia. Everybody understands that the role of a Government is to protect its fellow Citizens without being accused of Protectionism. Europe stands for Market Economy, for the Liberty of Trade, but cannot be Naive". On the contrary, "we want a Europe which doesn't hesitate when it comes to defend its Values and Beliefs", Sarkozy concluded.

     - "Protectionism would be the Worst of all, but  Unfair Competition and Naivety would lead to Europe's Destruction !", he warned,

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DEBT : Greece  and EuroZone

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 Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi also anounced that they "spoke also about the (Financial) support to Greece. We perfectly agree that Greece belongs to the EuroZone, and that it's important, therefore, for us to give all our help. And we are "interested to give our support, because, otherwise, we shall have negative effects on our Currency and on our Economy".       

 - "Greek Authorities took courageous measures in order to redress the situation of their Public Finances. A support Plan was aproved by all EuroZone's States. We are Ready to activate it at any moment to help Greece. It's up to Greece and to EuroZone's member states, on ECB's Recommendation, to decide if the conditions are met to fully activate that", added Sarkozy.

    - "Every time Europe faced a Crisis, the Financial Crisis with the Plan on Banks, the Hungarian Crisis, the Latvia's Crisis, etc., Europe knew how to react on time. Nobody should doubt that it will do the same concerning Greece", he concluded, (receiving Berlusconi's "full agreement").

    As for Italy itself, "we inherited from previous Governments a heavy Debt : There was an Historic compromise between the Socialist party, the Christian Democrats and he Communist party, who succeeded .. "Négative Miracles" to multiply by 8 the public Debt from 1950 up to 1982. But, despite that, we succeeded to have (now) Good Accounts : We had some new emissions of public Debt and normaly the Market's demand represents 2 or 3 times the amount of the emission. This is a proof of the trust that Citizens have to our Government and State". "As for our action during the (Global) Crisis, we supported the Businesses. We reduced Taxes. We extended State's aid to all persons who lost their job, and we augmented Minimal Retirement schemas to Millions of Citizens. ... Now "we are going to work already for the 3 next Years in front of us : We have a really important and concrete task to accomplish, and we have a Country which behaved well in front of the (Global) Crisis",  the Italian Prime Minister observed.

    I. e. on Greece, to put it in a nutshell, Sarkozy and Berlusconi are ready to use the EuroZone support mechanism, against speculation trying to exploit the .. "Negative Miracle" of Debt's Multiplication during the 1980ies, as the Italian PM reminded, pointing at an astonishingly similar scenario with Greece, whose previous PASOK Governments had accumulated an exceptionaly big and long debt since the 1980ies, that subsequent ND (ChristianDemocrats/EPP) Government's efforts didn't succeed to eradicate completely, unlike Italy's case, as current OECD comparative Data reveal.

oecd_greek_devs_400

Among all OECD member countries data unveiled by the Paris-based International Ecconomic Organization, (which stays mute on Turkey, on the contrary), only Germany once had such an exceptionaly big Debt in the Past, but, unlike PASOK past Governments in Greece, Kohl's German Govenent's exceptional 1996 deficit it was in fact an "investment" for the future : Shortly afterwards, Germany's Finances marked a positive Record Peak high, according to OECD's data, while, on the contrary, in Greece's PASOK past Governments the huge bulk of cushy job holders after massive recruitment in the 1980ies, are still there, notoriously continuing to overburden Greece's Public Debt..  

greek_interest_rates_boom

Unless EU Parliament's forcthcoming Hearings, joined to some EU Governments" critical moves, succeed to start Investigations on what really happened during the 1980ies and particulalry on 1998-2001, find and punish those responsible for such periods known for ambiant nepotism, several wrong doings, (including a ;; vis a vis Turkey'(s controversial EU bd) which became unpopular.

Because, obviously such moves could create much needed trust also on Markets that no such false impressiions and manipulations could happen again anew, rei,nforcing People's trust on EuroZone's fiability and real strength.

The fact EU Parliament's Economic Committee officialy decided to invite to Next Week's Hearing on what really happened in Greece, and how to ensure that this will never again be repated anywhere in the Future, has invited also a representative of ''Goldman Sachs', the Financial Agency which had reportedly helped a former PASOK ("Socialist") Government in Greece to present a better Economic outlook than its real situation on 1999-2001, is naturaly positive. (See also relevant "EuroFora"'s earlier NewsReports).

But, mainstream ChristianDemocrat/EPP French MEP Jean-Paul Gauzes, speaking earlier to "EuroFora", cited the case of a former EuroStat Expert who reportedly got later a job in the Private Sector overseas, after the 1999-2001 False Statistics Scandal, and said that, "if a representative of the current ("PaSOK'") Government in Greece is invited, then", he "intend(s) to ask also for the current Opposition; i.e. for a representative of the Former Greek Governmenrts" of New Democracy (ChristianDemocrats/EPP) "to be present at the Hearing".

However, informed EU Parliament's sources told today "EuroFora" that "there is no scheduled last-minute Change" to the list of Experts Invited to next week's Hearing on Greece, which includes from Greece only "a representative of the National Office for Statistics".

- "I don't like Secret Party-Deals behind closed doors !", earlier said to "EuroFora" EU Parliament's Economic Committee's Chairwoman, Sharon Bowles, Liberal Brittish MEP from South-Eastern England, who knows well, as she told us, the Kent Broadstairs-Margate Seaside area where used to guide his Ship the Historic former Prime Minister Howard Heath, the pro-European Conservative Politician who brought the UK into the EU...

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  imag0573_400

    An "Eugenic" loophole Amendment, which might expose to Dangers reminiscent of "3rd Reich's" notorious Genetic Abuses, hidden at the last minute inside an otherwise Good, larger Health policy Package scheduled to be voted on Thursday, was strongly denounced by a coalition of MEPs from various Political Groups and Countries, in a Press Conference held this afternoon at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    Mainly calling to "Select Human Embryos", via "Genetic Counselling" and "pre-implantation" Techniques including "Genetic Tests", in order to "Eradicate Hereditary rare Diseases", it might open ways to Dangerous Practices in Future, they denounced in substance.

    But they also made it clear that a much larger Report inside which this Controversial Amendment "No 15" was added in dubious circumstances, officialy destinated to struggle against "Rare Diseases", and drafted by Professor Antonios Trakatellis, was otherwise "an Excellent Report", aiming at a "completely Uncontroversial target" of Health policy on which "all MEPs and Experts are united, believing that Europe should act" to protect People's Health (See "EuroFora"'s earlier News).

    The controversy came at a particularly delicate moment for the EU in relation to Citizens, at the eve of June 2009 EU Elections, and shortly before Ireland re-votes for "Lisbon Treaty"..    

- Denouncing risks of "an Eugenic demand, very similar to what we had during the 3rd Reich in Germany, but now coming from some Scientisists themselves", German ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Dr. Peter Liese stressed that critical MEPs were against "Eugenic" engineering with "Selection of Human Embryos", and anything which might ultimately lead up to to a "Selection of Human Race". It doesn't help to "eradicate" Human Lives, he added.


    Several Experts and NGOs expressed "Deep Concern", as f;ex. DR M.C. Cornel of the "European Society of Human Genetics", which stressed, on this occasion, that "the importance of Non-Directiveness in Reproductive issues is a Central characteristic of Human Genetics, after the Atrocities committed in the name of Genetics in the first half or the 20th Century".

     - "This is completely Unacceptable", stressed Italian Liberal MEP Vittorio Prodi, on the Controversial Amendment, also because pushes to "eliminate early Human Life", as he noted.

     - "This opens a Dangerous Road, rather a Motorway", denounced Danish MEP Mrs Margrette Auken, from the "Greens", observing that various similar attempts were made in the Past "not only in Germany, but also in several other Countries, "even at the 1970ies", "f.ex. on forced Sterilisation of Roma" People, and other criticisable situations f.ex. in the UK, in Sweden, etc. as she said.

    + Other NGOs, as f.ex. "LebenHilfe" from Berlin, added that, among various other Risks, could also be that, by exploiting the pre-implantation Genetic Diagnostics and the Selection of "healthy" Embryos, some may "propagate" several "Eugenic" aims, starting f.ex. by pushing to eradicate Human Livies which might "Cost too much" to preserve, ultimately exposing to dangers reminiscent of the "3rd Reich"'s atrocious abuses.

    In consequence, ChristianDemocrats/EPP and "Green" MEPs "decided by Majority to vote against" this Controversial Amendment, anounced to Journalists the 5 MEPs who participated in the Press Conference, representing a wide spectrum, from Liberals to "Greens" and ChristianDemocrats, and from Hungary, Italy, Germany and Danemark up to Ireland (Gay Mitchell), etc.
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    Hungarian ChristianDemocrat MEP Laszlo Surjan said "that it was "Suddenly, at the End of the Procedure" in Committee, that "appeared this (Controversial) Amendment, which has nothing to do" with the main purpose of the Report, on which all agreed.

    He denounced an "Unhonest" move, and called to "avoid this kind of unacceptable situations". Nobody should "Select People", Surjan stressed.

    - "We (MEPs) had No Chance to Discuss" this last-minute Amendment earlier added at a Committee's level, said German MEP Peter Liese

    Speaking to "EuroFora", Dr. Liese, the Spokesman of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group in EU Parliament, said that MEPs didn't oppose other references of the Report f.ex. on "Genetic Tests", because they were "no proposals" to impose them, while, on the contrary, there was "a Problem" if anyone attempted to "impose" f.ex. this or that Genetic Technique and "Genetic Counselling", etc. to the People on human reproduction.
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The precise Text :
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    Controversial parts of Amendment No 15 ask mainly "to lead finally to the Eradication" of "Hereditary" "rare diseases", "through Genetic Counselling .., and ..pre-Implantation Selection of healthy Embryos".

    But  EU Rapporteur Professor Trakatellis, said to "EuroFora" that fears should be alleviated by Guarantees that all this should be done only "where appropriate", when it's "not contrary to existing National Law", and "always on a Voluntary basis", according to other Parts of the Amendment.

    He stressed that the main aim was to allow "a free and informed choice of persons involved", without imposing them anything :  - "It's not an obligatory, but advisary" text, he said.

    To make that point clear, he was ready, in agreement with many MEPs, to eventually drop at least that part of the controversial Amendment which initially called for "efforts to ..lead finally to the Eradication of those rare diseases" "which are Hereditary".

    But, until late Wednesday evening, reportedly together with many other MEPs, he stood by all the rest of the controversial Amendment, (fex. on the "Genetic Counselling" and the "pre-implantation Selection of healthy Embryos"), so that critical MEPs, going from ChristianDemocrats as Dr. Liese, to "Greens" or "Ind/Dem", observed to "EuroFora" that "this was not enough" to close the dangerous loophole.

    Particularly since, as Professor Trakatellis noted himself, "this is already allowed to the U.K.", and "other National Legislations would probably follow, sooner or later" in a similar direction. As for a general call to "Eradicate Hereditary rare Diseases", this "should happen, at any case, in practice, de facto", to protect public Health.

    On the contrary, "our goal should be to help patients suffering from rare diseases, not to eradicate the patients. In case of genetic disease risk, the decision should not be guided by scenarios" made by politicians. "Perents who may decide to accept a child, even if handicapped or with genetic disease, must be respected and supported with solidarity", critical MEPs stated.

    - "Any Pressure" to "a patient or couple (who "should be able to make an informed choice consistent with their own values"),"from health Professionals, Public Health Policies or Governemental Institutions, or Society at large, should be avoided", stresses the "European Society for Human Genetics".

----------------------------------

Each MEP's vote will be registered !

-----------------------------------   

The Socialist Group requested a "Split vote" on the Amendment 15, first without, and afterwards with the words "lead finally to the Eradication" etc.


    But the first "split vote" leaves intact all the other parts of the Controversial Amendment, (i.e. "Genetic Counselling", "Selection of healthy Embryos", etc).

    That's why, 3 Groups of MEPs : ChristianDemocrats/EPP, "Greens/EFA", and "Ind/Dem", have asked for "Roll Call Votes", on everything regarding the Controversial Amendment No 15, and on the final outcome of the resulting Report as amended, which will register all the individual positions to be taken by each MEP.   

Something which will obviously make each MEP think twice before voting for one or another choice, to be sure that he/she will make the right choice in front of EU Citizens, particularly at these pre-Election times...


    Crucial Votes were scheduled between 12 Noon and 1 p.m. local Strasbourg time, in the middle of a long series of various other Reports, and after a long Public Debate on the larger Health policy package, from 9 to 11.50 am.

    The specific Report inside which was hidden the controversial Amendment is due to be debated between 11 and 12 am.

    So that more last-minute Surprises may not be excluded a priori...

    Particularly at the present Historic moment, when even the Institutional Future of the EU depends on the result of a second Referendum on "Lisbon Treaty", later this year, in ...Ireland, a mainly Catholic country, where People are particularly sensitive in such kind of socio-cultural and values issues...
 

      ***     
 
     (Draft due to be updated).
 
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