from Europe Issue 4/2002
ROCK IS BRITISH!
24,000 of the 30,000 population of Gibraltar attended a public meeting and
roared approval when Chief Minister, Mr. Peter Caruana, said “Our
rights, our wishes, our aspirations as a people are not for bilateral
negotiation between Britain and Spain. Gibraltar is ours. It is neither
Britain’s to give away nor Spain’s to claim”.
wish to remain under British rule as they have for 300 years. The British
public supports the view that the Gibraltarians must decide their own
future. Spain, to this day, retains sovereignty over Ceuta and Melila that
are enclaves on Moroccan soil. Yet now, Spain challenges British
sovereignty whilst rejecting Moroccan claims on Ceuta and Melila. It is
refusing to co-operate fully with British Gibraltar that, like any other
part of UK, is part of the EU!
a big beneficiary of EU funding, has cleverly manipulated the EU to
sustain its strained relations with Gibraltar. Britain, a net EU
contributor with more voting power than Spain at the Council of Ministers,
should insist that Spain co-operates with Gibraltar. If Gibraltar is
undeveloped, why is it not getting funding for regeneration like other
poor regions of the EU?
people of Gibraltar, like the people of Ceuta and Melila, must be allowed
to vote in EU elections. The EU must offer assistance in improving its
infrastructure links e.g. roads, port, airport. Gibraltar, under British
rule, can prosper if the Churchillian bulldog continues to guard over the
ELECTRONIC WASTE DIRECTIVE
A new EU Directive on Waste from Electrical and Electronic
Equipment (WEEE) will require that, in future, all electrical equipment, with a battery or cable, will
have to be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.
This includes personal computers, mobile phones, televisions,
kitchen appliances and children's electrical toys. This means disposal of
1 million tons in the UK at huge expense!
Blair Government failed to implement an earlier EU Directive on disposal
of foam with CFC from fridges by not having specialised processing plants
like there are in Holland and Germany. That is why our Local Authorities
are inundated with hundreds of thousands of old fridges for which we, as
taxpayers, are paying millions of pounds for the cost of collection,
storage and eventual disposal!
SMOKE WITHOUT CASH!
100,000 tobacco farmers in the EU (60,000 in Greece, 27000 in Italy and
the rest in France and Spain) receive £620m in annual subsidy from the
Common Agricultural Fund!
livelihood of these farmers, family members, their employees, including
casual labourers, depends on the EU subsidy for tobacco, the major crop
where they live. Politicians in these countries claim that these hundreds
of thousands of people live in sensitive areas (e.g. northern Greece
bordering with the Balkan states) and the subsidy, only 2% of revenue
collected in taxes, is a small price to pay for political stability in the
like coffee and cocoa, is a cash crop grown in many developing countries.
The growers earn little and the prices have not risen for years. A typical
tobacco grower in Africa or Asia receives about £1.40 per kilo for his
leaf realising a profit of £0.70. This 1Kg of leaf would produce 1000
cigarettes such that the cost of the leaf in a pack of 20 cigarettes is a
mere 4 or 5 pence, just 1% of the retail price! The Government’s tax,
including VAT, is 80% and the remaining 19% covers production cost, huge
advertising expense, marketing & distribution costs and the profits of
manufacturer and distributors.
EU collects £30bn each year from taxes on sale of tobacco products in its
15 Member States. The UK Government collects £3.20 tax from every pack of
cigarettes sold in Britain at £4 whilst the poor grower receives 4 pence!
Clearly, no Government in Whitehall will be “tough on tobacco sales”
as so much revenue flows into the treasury without much public protest.
subsidise EU farmers to grow tobacco. Tobacco companies spend a fortune on
advertising to encourage us to smoke. A part of the taxes we pay our
Government is used to advertise against smoking and a larger part for
treating smokers in hospital when they suffer from smoking related
diseases! We ban fellow citizens from smoking in public places and tax
them heavily for doing so elsewhere. We accept, without much fuss, the
death of 500,000 Europeans from smoking related diseases each year!
do we allow our Governments to pay for this EU tobacco subsidy to farmers
and pay for funding EU anti-smoking campaigns? Why do we not give this
money as subsidy to our pensioners for winter heating, public transport
and other amenities?
EUROPEAN OF THE YEAR 2002
Every year the Heinz Schwarzkopf Foundation Young Europe presents
the award: -
"Young European of the Year"
The sum donated for this prize is €5,000 (£3,070) which is
intended to finance six months of practical training with a Member of the
European Parliament or another European Institution, but also for projects
which promote European accord.
They are looking for young people from Europe between 18 and 28
years old who have shown an above-average commitment to fostering
international understanding and the union of Europe and who wish to
actively promote this idea in the future.
If you know a young person who fits this description and deserves
to be rewarded with this prize then please contact our Brussels office
with their details. The deadline for entries is 15th June 2002.
Foreign Office visit (Morocco & Tunisia)
Addressed South Norfolk CA AGM
Downham Market College visit to EP
Capel St. Mary & Hadleigh Branch AGM
Constituents visit Strasbourg EP
Promoted & Printed by Conservative MEPs in the EPP-ED Group in the European Parliament, Brussels: Khanbhai, Sturdy, Beazley & Van Orden