COUNCIL OF MINISTERS: JOSE-MARIA AZNAR DEFENDS SPAIN'S RECORD TO MEPS.

Not surprisingly, the debate was dominated by asylum and immigration policy. In an intervention otherwise favourable to the out-going Presidency, Graham Watson, the President of the ELDR group, regretted that Spain's Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar had chosen to use development aid as a weapon against illegal immigration. Monica Frassoni, joint President of the Greens, warned that playing to the worst instincts of the far right was not an appropriate means of responding to citizens' justifiable concerns. Enrique Baron Crespo, President of the PES group, rejected any notion of a new impetus, arguing that the Seville European Council had merely followed in the steps of the Tampere Summit. He suggested the Spanish Prime Minister has no memory of the past. Jose Maria Aznar responded that Tampere established a framework and that Seville filled in the squares, adding that Europe needs immigrants but not Mafia groups trafficking in human beings, and that legal immigration requires a legal framework.Delighted with what he described as a "fruitful Presidency", EPP group President Hans Gert Pottering...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT