Full text 
Verbatim report of proceedings
Wednesday, 1 February 2006 - Brussels OJ edition

3. Statement by the President

  President. Ladies and gentlemen, before beginning our plenary sitting, I believe that, under the circumstances, the Presidency must make a short statement relating to the two tragic events that have taken place in two countries of the European Union.

As you know, the accident on 19 January involving a Slovakian army aircraft led to the deaths of 42 soldiers as they returned from a NATO peace-keeping mission in Kosovo. This brings to mind other similar tragic events relating to the presence of Spanish soldiers in Afghanistan. This time they were Slovakian.

On 28 January, in Katowice, the collapse of the roof of an exhibition hall led to the deaths of several dozen people and to some one hundred people being injured. An unknown number of people are missing. The Polish people have been shaken by this tragedy, as have all of the other peoples of Europe.

I have expressed the European Parliament’s sincerest condolences and solidarity with the victims and their families. The Slovakian and Polish flags are flying at half mast in our Parliament as a sign of mourning.

On behalf of all of you, I have sent a letter to both Heads of State to express our condolences. I would now ask you to observe a minute’s silence in tribute to these victims.

(The House rose and observed a minute’s silence).

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