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ACTA ‘good as dead’ unless Brussels clears up misinformation – Simon Busuttil
Nationalist MEP criticises European Commission’s handling of ACTA
1 March 2012, 12:00am
In a statement, the MEP said that unless the Commission addresses its public communications strategy to explain ACTA thoroughly, the trade agreement was "as good as dead".
"The public debate on ACTA has been poisoned by sheer misinformation, by undue politicisation and by the failure of the European Commission to communicate the agreement properly," Busuttil said.
Busuttil, the EPP spokesperson for the civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee, supports ACTA and has warned the Commission that MEPs in the LIBE committee will vote against the agreement unless the EC addresses their concerns on internet safety and generic drugs trade.
Busuttil today participated in the first exchange of views on the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) that was held in the European Parliament in Brussels.
He was among several MEPs who intervened in the debate following a presentation by EU Commissioner Karel De Gucht.
Busuttil stated that, in principle, he could only support an agreement that fights counterfeiting and piracy, as ACTA seeks to do. "However, the Commission had to first address serious concerns raised on the agreement with respect to civil liberties and possible restrictions on internet freedom," Busuttil said.
The MEP has criticised the Labour opposition's stand against ACTA, saying Labour "stuck out its tongue according to which direction the wind was blowing" while the PN's "responsible approach does not take political positions on the basis of what people would like to hear".
"Although this approach might cost us votes, I am sure that it will come across positively to those discerning voters."
Busuttil has said that any serious party cannot oppose an agreement against counterfeiting and piracy. "How can I say no to this and expect to attract investors, how can I say no to this and expect to protect thousands of jobs in Malta?"
But he has acknowledged the overwhelming discontent that reflects the fear that internet freedom would be restricted. The Prime Minister has, in the wake of protests against ACTA, decided to enshrine internet freedom as a civil right.
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