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MEPs criticise freedom of speech

MEPs boo call for free speech and EU debate
Bruno Waterfield in Brussels at Feb 19, 2009

Vaclav Klaus has just given a storming speech to the European Parliament - the best I have ever heard in that place.

Many Euro-MPs booed or walked out as the Czech president appealed for a real debate over the meaning of Europe and the European Union.

"The most important task is to make sure that debate over problems is not silenced as an attack on the very idea of European integration. We have always believed that being allowed to discuss such serious issues, being heard, defending everyone's right to present a different that "the only correct opinion - no matter how much may disagree with it - is at the very core of democracy," he said.

"Since there is no European demos - and no European nation - this defect can not be solved by strengthening the role of the European Parliament."

Shocking stuff here in conformist Brussels, home to the mindless MEP.

Avril Doyle, a particularly fine example of Euro-MP mindset attacked President Klaus, her voice trembling, for trying to influence a second Irish referendum (update I now hear from parliament staff that she was objecting to leaflets not the speech) .

Debate is a "recipe for chaos in our corridors", she screeched.

"Please ensure that the bureau (the parliament's administration) does not allow it to happen again."

Here is the parliament's corporate response:

"The Lisbon Treaty would worsen the EU's democratic deficit, argued Czech President Klaus in a speech to the EP, in which he questioned the role of the parliament itself. EP president Pöttering responded by describing Mr Klaus's views as 'an expression of the diversity in Europe' and pointed out that 'in a democracy it's the view of the majority that counts'. Without the EP, Europe would be in the hands of bureaucrats, he cautioned. A wide majority of MEPs strongly welcomed Mr Pöttering response."

Re: MEPs criticise freedom of speech

She is quite the Harpy isn’t she?