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Wednesday, 16 September 2009 - Strasbourg OJ edition

SWIFT (debate)

  Marie-Christine Vergiat, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group.(FR) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, it is a great honour for me to speak for the first time in this House on behalf of the millions of Europeans who want a different Europe.

The SWIFT affair is symptomatic of the security blunders imposed in the name of terrorism, where utter contempt is shown for the most fundamental rights of our fellow citizens. In this affair, the United States plundered bank data, without legal basis and without even the slightest information from the authorities in Europe. The scandal has made the European authorities sit up and take notice. An agreement has been signed with the US Government. An expert has made an assessment of this agreement. Which expert, though? A French anti-terror judge, Judge Bruguière, whose errors in the area of fundamental rights are well known in France. We are therefore sceptical about the quality of his report.

Apart from the matter of principle, the proposal for a resolution put before us includes numerous warnings that we agree with, but they are insufficient. We propose amendments to reinforce the demands that the European Parliament has a duty to make. We must go further and call for the suspension of the agreement if the principles set out are infringed. We would like to know why it has taken the European authorities so long to inform Parliament and why there has been such a rush to conclude this new agreement.

We are counting on the Swedish Presidency. We will continually monitor respect for human rights. Yes, our fellow citizens have a right to security, but this must be done without us being forced to live in a big brother society where everyone knows everything about us.

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