19 November 2003

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Malta seeking minimum of five EP seats, not six

Alternattiva Demokratika’s spokesperson on European affairs and General Secretary of the European Greens Arnold Cassola yesterday released documents to the media revealing that the Maltese government is seeking a minimum of five seats for itself in the European Parliament, not six as it had previously insisted.
In a statement released yesterday afternoon, Profs. Cassola explains, "It emerges clearly in a document of the IGC [Inter Governmental Conference] monitoring group of the European Parliament issued on 6/11/2003 that as regards the composition of the European Parliament the official position of Malta is that of requesting a minimum of five seats and not six."
AD expressed its disapproval on the official stand taken by the Maltese government at the opening of the Inter Governmental Conference and then at the ministerial-level meetings of 4, 13 and 27 October.
Cassola vents his frustration over the strategy, "This exposes the hypocrisy of various exponents of the Maltese government who are claiming that they are working for Malta to have six seats in the European Parliament. If this was this was really the case the Maltese government would have requested a minimum of six seats for each country.
"We Greens have worked hard to convince all political forces in the European Parliament to vote for six seats for Malta and indeed the European Parliament and foreign affairs committee in three different occasions had voted overwhelmingly in favour of amendments presented by the European Greens which called for the sixth seat for Malta.
"It is frustrating for us Greens to see all our work going up in smoke because of the official request of the Maltese government, who seems to have given up."

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Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Malta Financial & Business Times, Newsworks Ltd, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann
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