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Kox: 'a stormy week in Strasbourg'

30 Apr 2017

Kox: 'a stormy week in Strasbourg'

Foto: SP

'A week full of stormy debates and unpleasant events,' was how SP Senator Tiny Kox described the session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) which has just ended in Strasbourg. Kox, who is president of the United European Left group in the Assembly, was actively involved in a number of the week's dramatic events.

Listing the controversial points dealt with, Kox said that PACE had 'decided to step up the monitoring of Turkey in order to defend the constitutional state, human rights and democracy in this very large Council of Europe member state. Around half of the Turkish representatives went home early in a state of indignation, while the other half stayed on, pleased by the European concern over the chaos through which their country is passing.'

The rows did not end there, moreover; there were also serious internal problems. Firstly, an additional external enquiry was ordered after several countries were suspected of having attempted to influence decision-making by bribing members – now ex-members. And a separate incident led to PACE parting company with its president, conservative Spanish Senator Pedro Agramunt. 'With his unannounced and unauthorised visit to Syria's President Assad, Agramunt brought PACE into serious discredit,' says Kox. 'Because he wouldn't go quietly, a vote of no confidence was proposed and this was carried unanimously. This means that he will no longer be empowered to act or speak on our behalf or allowed to address the Assembly. It's a sad business, but we have to keep our own house in order if we expect member state governments to do the same and if we are to retain the right to draw to their attention things that are wrong in their country.'

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