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At 18:19 96-12-18, you wrote:
>From: "ABSDF (WB)" <brian@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>Burma loses EU privileges
>Brussels, Dec. 18: The Europeans Commission called on 
>Wednesday for Burma to be stripped of trade privileges 
>currently accorded by the European Union after finding 
>evidence of the widespread use of forced labor there.
>The EU executive arm unanimously approved a recommendation
>that Burma's membership of the generalized System of Preferences,
>which accords developing countries preferential tariffs on their exports
>to the EU, be suspended indefinitely. The decision has to be ratified 
>by EU foreign ministers. This is seen as a formality in light to the 
>Burmese regime's refusal to improve its record on human and 
>democratic rights.(AFP)  

Dear Burmanetreaders,

I'm very happy to read AFP considers the approval of the Commission's
decision as a formality. Hopefully they are right. I'm in doubt however
whether we can be that sure the council of ministers will ratify the
suspension of GSP. Especially the role of France is unclear. The council of
ministers takes decisions on the base of consensus. So France can use its

Three weeks ago I read an article about French plans to block the
suspension. I forgot in what newspaper it was published. If anybody finds
articles like that please post it on the net. Also other comments, opinions,
articles and information about the likelihood of an easy ratification should
be sent to Burmanet.

We have to see then whether there is a need for (short running) (letter)
campaign towards the French government. If the decision is no formality at
all, maybe each national European group also has to provide their ministers
(again) with all the needed elements to undermine the French minister's
arguments. In that case it will be much more difficult for France to block
the decision in the council. Also press attention for the issue is needed.


Kris Deckers
KWIA Steungroep Inheemse Volkeren - KWIA Supportgroup for Indigenous peoples
- KWIA Grupo de Apoyo para los Pueblos Indigenas
Breughelstraat 31-33, 2018 Antwerpen, BELGIUM
Tel. 32-3-2188488
Fax  32-3-2304540