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Il-Ħamis, 17 ta' Settembru 2009 - Strasburgu Edizzjoni riveduta

8. Is-sitwazzjoni fit-Tajwan wara t-tifun reċenti (dibattitu)
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  Elnök. − A következő pont a Bizottság nyilatkozata a Tajvani helyzetről a közelmúltbeli tájfunt követően.

 
  
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  Meglena Kuneva, Member of the Commission. − Mr President, first of all, let me express my sympathy to the people of Taiwan who suffered as result of Typhoon Morakot and its consequences. The European Community Mechanism for Civil Protection made a contribution to the overall relief effort and showed Europe’s solidarity with the population of Taiwan.

On 7 August 2009 Taiwan was hit by Typhoon Morakot, causing major flooding and mudslides. Over 150 people were killed and tens of thousands displaced. Transport infrastructure, including roads and bridges, was damaged and communication networks were interrupted. Around 700 000 homes were left without drinking water. Taiwan requested international assistance on 12 August 2009. In response the European Commission activated the Community Civil Protection Mechanism. The mechanism facilitates and coordinates Member States’ in-kind assistance during major emergencies.

The European Commission deployed a coordination and assessment team to Taiwan to assess the needs and to assist the Government in its relief efforts. The team undertook several assessment missions to the affected regions, sharing its findings and recommendations with the local authorities and international partners. The mechanism team also facilitated the delivery of in-kind assistance such as water purification equipment donated by Sweden and Poland, which was delivered to the most affected areas in Taiwan.

The rapid delivery of this assistance ensured a tangible expression of European solidarity. The presence of the European team on the ground was also received positively. The Community Civil Protection Mechanism is a very visible sign of European solidarity with countries worldwide, and I am convinced that it will continue to grow in strength and effectiveness.

Natural disasters can affect any country in the world. They often carry a heavy human, economic and environmental cost. In the future, climate change makes it likely that we will face more disasters. In this regard, solidarity with other countries hit by disaster remains one of the pillars of the European disaster-management policy. I look forward to continuing to work with the European Parliament to make sure our European emergency-management tools are fit for purpose.

 
  
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  Thomas Mann, im Namen der PPE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Die Republik Taiwan wurde am 8. August in ihren Grundfesten erschüttert. Mit unbändiger Kraft fegte der Taifun Morakot über die Insel hinweg und löschte mehr als 750 Menschenleben aus. Tausende verloren Hab und Gut, Landstriche wurden verwüstet. Der Schaden beträgt mehr als 2,5 Milliarden Euro. Der Wiederaufbau einer vielerorts zerstörten Infrastruktur wird Monate dauern. Als Zeichen der Solidarität war es uns Europäern ein Anliegen, die taiwanesische Bevölkerung im Rahmen der Katastrophenhilfe zu unterstützen.

Die EVP, Frau Kuneva, unterstützt die Initiativen, die die Europäische Kommission in Gang gebracht hat. Umso verwunderlicher ist es, dass die taiwanesischen Botschaften angewiesen wurden, jede ausländische Hilfe abzulehnen. Das führte zu heftiger Kritik und am 13. August zu notwendigen Korrekturen eines völlig fehlgeschlagenen Krisenmanagements. Kurz darauf trat Ministerpräsident Liu Chao-shiuan zurück.

Eine weitere Irritation gab es jetzt beim mehrtägigen Besuch des Dalai Lama Anfang September in Taiwan. Er wollte mit den Überlebenden für die Opfer beten, mehr nicht. Mitgefühl ist seit Jahren die Botschaft der vielbeachteten Reden und Bücher des Dalai Lama. Erneut protestierte die chinesische Regierung lautstark und übte massiven Druck aus. Es ist empörend, dass Peking aus einer rein humanitären Aktion des Dalai Lama wieder einmal ein Politikum gemacht hat. Taiwan muss sich die Frage gefallen lassen, auf wessen Seite es eigentlich steht. Staatspräsident Ma Ying-jeou hatte die Einreise des Friedensnobelpreisträgers erst nach heftigen Protesten aus der eigenen Bevölkerung gestattet.

Wir, Frau Kommissarin, sind gefordert, den Dialog mit Taiwan zu intensivieren – in humanitären Fragen, aber auch in Fragen unserer grundsätzlichen Orientierung. Demokratie, Menschenrechte und Solidarität gehören untrennbar zusammen, auch in diesem aufstrebenden asiatischen Land!

 
  
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  Victor Boştinaru, on behalf of the S-D Group. – Mr President, first of all, please let me express my sincere sorrow for the huge tragedy that hit Taiwan on 8 August and in particular for all the people that were killed by the incredible energy of the devastation from this major disaster.

Morakot was the deadliest typhoon to hit Taiwan in nearly 50 years, ravaging the island in early August and leaving about 700 people dead or missing, forcing the evacuation of thousands and burying hundreds of village homes in mudslides.

On this occasion China showed great sensitivity by sending immediate aid to help Taiwanese victims. Not only was the Chinese Government ready to assist the island, but also private companies and organisations of different kinds including the Association for Relations across the Taiwan Straits and the mainland Red Cross Society.

Also, the Chinese population afforded help with fundraising events organised to relieve the island from the disaster.

According to the last figures, the Chinese mainland has so far donated to the typhoon victims about a CNY 1 billion, which is the equivalent of nearly USD 150 million. An important role in this situation was played by the several hundreds of prefabricated houses that were sent from China to Taiwan in order to put a roof over those who had lost their dwellings.

I would like to underline the fact that the European Union, attached to the One China policy, welcomes the help that China offered Taiwan on this tragic occasion because this shows an improvement in the relations between the two territories, and it is clear that an improvement in such relations can lead to greater stability in this region.

I also think, and with this I conclude, that, given the dimension of the disaster, the European Union should make use of one of its core values – solidarity – and offer Taiwan additional material and financial assistance in order to help with the massive task of reconstruction.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, the scenes of devastation and destruction caused by Typhoon Morakot will remain in our minds for a long time, but many people in Taiwan will be living with the consequences of this tragedy for years to come. Over 700 people lost their lives and thousands of others have faced major disruption.

The Taiwanese Government under President Ma responded promptly by deploying soldiers to the worst-affected communities and areas, and requesting assistance from the international community. The Swedish EU Presidency and the Commission should be congratulated on their work in activating the Community Civil Protection Mechanism. I do hope now that the Commission will commit to longer-term assistance to Taiwan to enable full recovery of its people and economy and the rebuilding of the infrastructure.

I have no doubt of the gratitude of the people and Government of Taiwan for the solidarity and support shown by the EU. Furthermore, as chairman of the EP Taiwan Friendship Group, I look forward to finding out the latest situation when I lead a delegation of MEPs to Taiwan next month.

The calamity that has affected Taiwan may well become more commonplace, both in Taiwan and around the world, as a result of climate change. It is therefore essential that Taiwan, as an island vulnerable to such meteorological phenomena and as a major global industrial power, is enabled to participate meaningfully and with dignity in appropriate international organisations, not least those related to weather and climate change. In particular, Taiwan should be allowed to participate in the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change and the World Meteorological Organisation.

Both the Council and the Commission support Taiwan’s meaningful participation in United Nations bodies now, and I hope they will use the opportunity, arising from this disaster, that has now been presented to Taiwan to promote Taiwan’s involvement in these structures.

 
  
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  Fiorello Provera, a nome del gruppo EFD. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, insieme alle mie condoglianze e alla solidarietà per la popolazione di Taiwan, vorrei sottolineare la tempestività dell'impegno umanitario dell'Unione europea in questa catastrofe.

La Commissione ha fatto la sua parte e molti Stati membri hanno inviato aiuti o squadre di esperti. La stessa Repubblica popolare cinese ha aiutato le autorità taiwanesi e questo è un gesto che io considero molto significativo. Ma se vogliamo aiutare in futuro e in maniera strutturale le autorità taiwanesi e i paesi dell'area a far fronte a minacce di questo tipo, l'Unione europea dovrebbe sostenere l'ammissione di Taiwan, in veste di osservatore, nell'Organizzazione mondiale per la meteorologia e nella Convenzione quadro delle Nazioni Unite sul cambiamento climatico.

L'adesione di Taiwan in veste di osservatore ha già dato buoni frutti in altre organizzazioni internazionali settoriali come WTO e anche in questo caso l'adesione di Taiwan potrebbe costituire una modalità di prevenzione concreta e limitare i pericoli in futuro per i 23 milioni di abitanti dell'isola e per l'intera regione.

 
  
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  Astrid Lulling (PPE). - Monsieur le Président, Taïwan émerge à peine d'une terrible catastrophe naturelle, comme ce pays n'en avait plus connue depuis un demi-siècle. Il est de notre devoir, non seulement d'exprimer notre solidarité, mais aussi de participer activement à la reconstruction des parties dévastées de l'île.

La Commission et le Conseil ont heureusement répondu présents après le passage du typhon Morakot. Je les presse maintenant de fournir, concrètement, l'aide nécessaire au gouvernement et à la population de ce pays, car il y a énormément à faire. Des instruments adéquats existent au niveau de l'Union européenne. Ils doivent être pleinement utilisés.

Cette catastrophe pose à nouveau, comme certains de mes collègues l'ont déjà dit, la question de la participation de Taïwan aux différentes agences des Nations unies. Les institutions de l'Union européenne l'encouragent sur le principe, mais il est grand temps d'agir pour changer les choses. Les autorités de Taïwan ne disposaient pas d'informations météorologiques indiquant la gravité du typhon. Ce n'est pas acceptable. Une participation de Taïwan à la convention-cadre des Nations unies sur les changements climatiques est absolument nécessaire pour la mettre en position d'éviter le pire car, immanquablement, d'autres dépressions climatiques suivront.

Je suis la présidente de l'association Taïwan-Luxembourg et je dois dire qu'il ne faut plus reculer devant le chantage de la Chine communiste, en ce qui concerne nos relations avec Taïwan. Un soutien clair et net de la Commission et du Conseil sur cette question est absolument indiqué.

 
  
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  Κρίτων Αρσένης (S-D). - Κύριε Πρόεδρε, κυρία Επίτροπε, αγαπητοί συνάδελφοι θα ήθελα και εγώ να εκφράσω τη βαθιά μου λύπη για την ανθρωπιστική καταστροφή στην Ταϊβάν, και πραγματικά πιστεύω ότι θα πρέπει να βοηθήσουμε ως Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση με κάθε δυνατό τρόπο.

Γνωρίζουμε, πλέον, ότι είναι 640 οι νεκροί από τον τυφώνα Μαρακότ και πάνω από 192 οι αγνοούμενοι. Μια κατολίσθηση, μάλιστα, έσβησε ένα ολόκληρο χωριό

από το χάρτη και οδήγησε σε εκατοντάδες νεκρούς. Όλα αυτά όμως δεν είναι τυχαία. Είχε προηγηθεί μία εκτενής λειψυδρία, που μείωσε την ικανότητα της γης να απορροφήσει τη βροχή.

Αγαπητοί συνάδελφοι, ξηρασία, πλημμύρες και ραγδαία αύξηση των καιρικών φαινομένων είναι φαινόμενα που σταδιακά θα εντείνονται λόγω της κλιματικής αλλαγής. Ένας τυφώνας δημιουργείται σε θαλάσσιες περιοχές με επιφανειακή θερμοκρασία 27ο C. Η άνοδος της θερμοκρασίας θα αυξήσει σημαντικά τόσο τους τυφώνες όσο και την έντασή τους. Έως σήμερα, 120 εκατομμύρια άνθρωποι ζουν σε περιοχές που πλήττονται από τυφώνες. Μεταξύ του 1980 και του 2000 είχαμε 250.000 θύματα από τυφώνες.

Για όλους αυτούς τους λόγους, οι καρδιές όλων μας πρέπει να είναι στην Κοπεγχάγη, όπου το Δεκέμβριο θα αποφασίσουμε, αν η κάθε χώρα μας ξεχωριστά θα υπερασπισθεί τα δικά της προσωρινά, βραχυπρόθεσμα συμφέροντα, ή αν όλοι θα δώσουμε τη μάχη για τον πλανήτη -το σπίτι μας- τη μάχη για να αναστρέψουμε την κλιματική αλλαγή.

Θα σταματήσει λοιπόν ο ανεπτυγμένος και αναπτυσσόμενος κόσμος να συμβάλει σε καταστροφές, όπως αυτή της Ταϊβάν; Αυτό όμως απαιτεί πράξεις. Απαιτεί να δεσμευτούμε ότι θα λάβουμε τις αναγκαίες δεσμεύσεις για την απαραίτητη μείωση, προκειμένου να μην αυξηθεί η θερμοκρασία πάνω από 2ο C , απαιτεί επίσης να βάλουμε και το χέρι στην τσέπη για να βοηθήσουμε οικονομικά τον αναπτυσσόμενο κόσμο ώστε να γίνει μέρος της λύσης και να συμβάλει στην αντιμετώπιση της κλιματικής αλλαγής.

Αγαπητοί συνάδελφοι, εμείς είμαστε, ο αναπτυσσόμενος κόσμος, που δημιουργήσαμε την κλιματική αλλαγή. Εμείς είμαστε ο "ρυπαίνων" και σύμφωνα με την αρχή που εμείς οι ίδιοι άλλωστε θεσπίσαμε - "ο ρυπαίνων πληρώνει" - πρέπει να πληρώσουμε. Πρέπει να πληρώσουμε ενισχύοντας οικονομικά τις αναπτυσσόμενες χώρες.

 
  
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  Bastiaan Belder (EFD). - Mijnheer de Voorzitter, deze ramp was voor Taiwan van ongekende omvang. In de bergen is het een groot drama. Hele dorpen zijn verdwenen en naar schatting zijn er duizend doden respectievelijk vermisten. Duizenden, zo niet meer, overlevenden verblijven momenteel in militaire kampen. Zo schetste de hoogste vertegenwoordiger van mijn land, Nederland, in Taiwan, Menno Goedhart, de verwoestende gevolgen van de tyfoon Morakot. Vanaf deze plaats wil ik dan ook allereerst mijn medeleven uitdrukken aan regering en burgers van Taiwan.

In aanvulling op de praktische hulpverlening die Menno Goedhart aan zijn Taiwanese vrienden vandaag verleent, en ook onder waardering voor wat al van Europese zijde is gebeurd, zou ik de Europese Commissie toch een tweetal vragen willen stellen die versterking van de Europees-Taiwanese relaties beogen. Allereerst komt de Commissie volgende maand met een voorstel voor de versoepeling van het visa-regime voor Taiwanezen. Het Verenigd Koninkrijk en Ierland hebben reeds het goede voorbeeld gegeven. Ten tweede toont een recent Europees rapport glashard aan dat er voor Taiwan en de Europese Unie enorme winst zit in het afspreken van trade enhancing measures, TEM. Kan de Commissie zich in deze urgente conclusie vinden?

Tot slot, mijnheer de Voorzitter, kan ik mij volledig aansluiten bij de collega's die al hebben gepleit voor het doorbreken van het onwaarschijnlijke internationale isolement van Taiwan. Dat is werkelijk onverdraaglijk, zeker als het gaat om de levens van burgers, waar dan ook.

 
  
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  Ville Itälä (PPE). - Arvoisa puhemies, Taiwania kohtasi suuri inhimillinen hätä 8. elokuuta. Uhrien määrä oli valtava, taloudelliset vahingot olivat mittavat. Nyt on meidän aika auttaa, meidän aika osoittaa Taiwanin kansalaisille solidaarisuutta. Meidän on osoitettava myötätuntoa, mutta myötätunnon lisäksi meidän on annettava taloudellista tukea, ja kuten komission edustaja täällä totesi, meidän on nyt otettava kriisinhallintavälineet käyttöön. Taiwanilaisille on annettava nyt kaikki inhimillisesti mahdollinen apu. Haluan myös tukea kollega Tannockin esittämää ajatusta pidempiaikaisesta tuesta Taiwanille, jotta saadaan aikaan mahdollisimman hyvä tulos ja voimme todella osoittaa, että hekin ovat ihmisiä ja ennen kaikkea he ovat meidän ystäviämme.

 
  
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  Janusz Władysław Zemke (S-D). - Chciałem podziękować Pani Komisarz za informacje, ale moje pytanie ma charakter nieco inny. Nie tak dawno tragedię przeżywał Tajwan, ale dobrze wiemy, że tego typu nieszczęść było wiele i może być wiele. W związku z tym pytanie, które chciałem Pani Komisarz zadać jest następujące: czy Unia Europejska, a Komisja w szczególności, ma jakieś standardy postępowania w takiej sytuacji? Czy istnieje pakiet podejmowanych działań o charakterze doraźnym, oferty dla danych państw i czy istnieje także pakiet działań o charakterze długofalowym?

Myślę, że byłoby źle, gdybyśmy na takie tragedie reagowali w różny sposób w sytuacji różnych państw. Sądzę, że tak, jak to bywa w wojsku, trzeba mieć przygotowany standard pewnych działań w sytuacjach kryzysowych – chciałem właśnie o to Panią spytać.

 
  
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  Johannes Cornelis van Baalen (ALDE). - Mijnheer de Voorzitter, de ALDE-Fractie leeft, zoals vele fracties in dit Parlement, mee met de getroffen bevolking van Taiwan en ze is blij dat de Europese Commissie gereageerd heeft zoals ze dat heeft gedaan. Daar moet de Commissie ook mee doorgaan. Maar het grote probleem naast deze menselijke ramp is natuurlijk het isolement van Taiwan. Je kunt best een één-China-beleid handhaven en tegelijkertijd goede werkbare verhoudingen met Taiwan creëren. Taiwan zou best in de Wereldgezondheidsorganisatie een rol kunnen spelen als waarnemer. Hetzelfde geldt voor de Wereld Meteorologische Organisatie of de VN-Conventie op het gebied van klimaatsverandering. Dat is allemaal mogelijk en staat het één-China-beleid niet in de weg. Ik sluit mij aan bij de heer Belder ten aanzien van het versoepelen van het visa-regime en ook zijn goede woorden aan de heer Goedhart, de Nederlandse vertegenwoordiger in Taipei Ik vind dat we dus niet moeten doorgaan met het isoleren van Taiwan. Werkbare relaties, daar gaat het om.

 
  
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  Laima Liucija Andrikienė (PPE). - Mr President, first of all I would like to express my deep condolences to the families of those who died during the Morakot typhoon.

It is regrettable that hundreds have died, others lost their loved ones, and many more were injured.

As many observers have noted, the number of victims could have been lower if the Government had reacted in a more coordinated manner to the typhoon. The Government failed to predict the seriousness of the tropical storm approaching the island. At the same time, we know that Taiwan has a highly developed high-tech sector and is one of the largest manufacturers of GPS systems in the world.

Part of the blame should be attributed to the fact that Taiwan is not yet a member of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), as has already been mentioned by some colleagues. Taiwan could have been better pre-warned if the WMO provided it with timely information. I am therefore convinced that the time is right again to raise the issue of Taiwan’s membership in the WMO, not only for political reasons but also for humanitarian ones.

 
  
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  Silvia-Adriana Ţicău (S-D). - Domnule Preşedinte, doamnă comisar, taifunul care a lovit Taiwan-ul a afectat viaţa a sute de mii de oameni şi a distrus zeci de mii de locuinţe. Ajutorul umanitar al Uniunii Europene trebuie să fie necondiţionat. Scopul trebuie să fie acela de a ajuta victimele în cel mai scurt timp posibil.

Uniunea Europeană este un donator activ care lucrează cu organizaţiile neguvernamentale şi cu agenţiile specializate ale Organizaţiei Naţiunilor Unite pentru a furniza fonduri pentru tratamente medicale, precum şi sprijin logistic şi pentru reconstrucţia zonelor devastate. Conferinţa de la Copenhaga discută foarte mult şi ne pregătim pentru a lua nişte măsuri pentru un viitor acord post-Kyoto pentru reducerea emisiilor poluante. Deci, discutăm mai mult de măsuri de reducere a cauzelor care conduc la schimbările climatice.

Solicit ca în contextul Conferinţei de la Copenhaga să se acorde o atenţie deosebită şi măsurilor de adaptare, deoarece vom avea în continuare de-a face cu furtuni puternice, inundaţii, secetă prelungită sau incendii de păduri. De asemenea, solicit sprijin ca Uniunea Europeană să acorde sprijin umanitar pentru Taiwan şi pentru reconstrucţie şi, în special, pentru sprijinul populaţiei.

 
  
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  Meglena Kuneva, Member of the Commission. − Mr President, I will take the questions in order.

First of all, on the assistance which the Commission is providing to Taiwan to meet the ongoing needs of its people, which was the main point of the question by Mr Mann: Taiwan has been informed of the Commission’s post-disaster needs-assessment mechanism, but we have not received any requests so far. If such a request comes, we will take it into consideration.

Then, on the Commission position regarding the current state of cross-Strait relations, which was the question from Mr Boştinaru, the Commission welcomes the rapprochement between Taiwan and China during the last year. This has made it possible to improve cross-Strait relations, reducing tensions between the two, and to promote bilateral issues such as direct air and sea links.

We strongly support the bilateral discussions between the two parties that may allow further progress. We also welcome the Chinese assistance.

On the question concerning the participation of Taiwan in the World Meteorological Organisation from Mrs Lulling and Mrs Andrikienė, and also from Mr van Baalen and Mr Tannock: in line with the position expressed by the European Union in a statement issued in September 2008 and the EU’s One China policy, the European Commission supports, where appropriate, the meaningful participation of Taiwan in international organisations. We will continue to do so.

On the questions from Mrs Lulling and Mr Mann, as to the assistance provided, the Community’s Civil Protection Mechanism provided assistance from Sweden and Poland. This help was received with gratitude which was acknowledged by President Ma to Commission President Barroso.

On the question concerning the visit by the Dalai Lama to Taiwan in the aftermath of the typhoon, the visit by the Dalai Lama was a decision taken by the Taiwanese authorities, and the European Commission has no comment on it.

On the question raised by Mr Belder, about the Commission position on granting visa-free access to Taiwanese visiting the EU: the Commission is considering, within the framework of the revision of the appropriate legislation, the possibility of updating the list of countries and entities which may not be subject to visa requirements in respect of visits to the European Union, especially the Schengen Area, and in this context it will also consider the case of Taiwan.

Coming to the question by Mr Zemke on the issue of standard procedures in the event of disasters and how we will proceed in future in such cases, the Commission focuses on two priorities: the first is continuing work on preparedness and response, and the second is the prevention of disasters.

First, we deem it important to ensure the availability of EU assistance at all times. With Parliament’s support, in 2008 we launched a pilot project and a preparatory action on the EU rapid-response capability. From this initial experience, if appropriate, the Commission will present further proposals for the development of the EU rapid-response capability, funded from national resources earmarked for EU operations.

Second, we aim to have a comprehensive approach to disaster prevention at EU level. In February 2009 the Commission published a communication on a Community approach to the prevention of natural and man-made disasters. We would welcome Parliament’s feedback on this communication.

 
  
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  Elnök. − A vitát lezárom.

 
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