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6.6.

2002 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 134 E/159

Added to these questions are possible legal problems linked to the possession of such data, as
transmissions could be intercepted.

For these reasons, the introduction of a system of direct transmission of data cannot be envisaged at
present without a prior analysis of all these implications. The Commission does not therefore intend to
include such a measure among its proposals on civil aviation safety.

(2002/C 134 E/160) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2961/01


by Antonio Tajani (PPE-DE) to the Council

(5 November 2001)

Subject: Statements made by Louis Michel against the Italian Prime Minister

Is the Council aware of the statements made by Louis Michel, the Belgian Foreign Minister, (broadcast on
the RTL-TV1 channel and reported by the Wall Street Journal Europe on 9 October 2001), in which he
gave ‘marks’ to the main world leaders?

Does the Council know that Mr Michel, incredibly, gave the same valuation for the Italian Prime Minister
as for the Taleban regime and is it aware of the repeated attacks made by Mr Michel, the President-in-
Office of the EU, against the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi?

What steps will the Council take with regard to Mr Michel, who is arbitrarily and wrongfully exploiting his
official position to attack the leader of the government of one of the founding countries of the European
Union, making statements which deeply offend not only the Prime Minister, but also the Italian State and
its citizens?

Reply

(14 February 2002)

It is not for the Council to comment on the statements made by Mr Louis Michel. In any case, Mr Louis
Michel was speaking in a personal capacity, and not as President of the Council of the European Union.

(2002/C 134 E/161) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2962/01


by Erik Meijer (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(25 October 2001)

Subject: Incorporating rising insurance premiums into air fares on a self-financing basis

1. Can the Commission confirm that, by comparison with other large modern businesses, the profit
margins of airlines have been conspicuously low for very many years in spite of the fact that, unlike other
transport services, aviation is in a position to benefit from tax exemptions based on long-standing
international agreements?

2. Is low profit margin the key reason for the failure to establish sufficient hedging reserves, one
consequence of this being that, at an earlier stage than in other businesses, aviation’s response to financial
setbacks is to plan workforce cuts and ask governments to subsidise or underwrite operating risks which
are hard or very costly to insure?