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Debates
Tuesday, 22 February 2005 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Pollution from ships
MPphoto
 
 

  Attard-Montalto (PSE). Mr President, there is a very well known English saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I hope that this directive is not one of them. Obviously, pollution is a maritime catastrophe and we all agree on that.

My country, Malta, is highly susceptible because it is dependent on tourism, and our maritime philosophy has always been appreciated, especially as we were one of the forerunners with relation to certain theories regarding the common heritage of mankind, especially with regard to the sea bed. So, no one can accuse us of putting our national interest before that of the European Union – and I will explain why.

I do not think in all sincerity that this directive will reduce pollution. Why? Up to now, I have not been given a direct and concrete answer as to whether this directive will affect ships that are not registered in countries within the European Union. If it will not, what will the effect be? The effect will be that ships currently registered in Greece, Cyprus and Malta will migrate to other flag countries. I would appreciate it if this could be clarified because, as far as I have been informed by my Government, the law as it stands discriminates between flags of European and non-European states. If this is the case, this would go against the International Convention. How will you, Commissioner, enforce it? I would appreciate it if this could be answered in the conclusions.

 
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