Wednesday, 18 June 2008

EU Vice-President Jacques Barrot rejects McCann's project of a European Amber alert

The strategy approved by the European Parliament, concerning an alert system for missing children, will go forward, the European Commission Vice-president Jacques Barrot said, Monday, in Strasbourg. The appointment of Mr. Barrot to be the Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security, will be voted by the European Parliament next Wednesday.

Mr. Barrot mentioned the European Parliament project intended to set up a EU hotline in all 27 state member and a coordinated alarm system, in cooperation with NGO's and child protection associations and said that child protection was “among his priorities”, during a formal hearing on Monday. This hearing is one of the steps for the appointment of a new Commissioner or a change of portfolio. Mr. Barrot was the Commissioner in charge of Transports.

The remarks were considered by several Members of European Parliament a “diplomatic answer” to the McCann strong critics about the European Parliament project, published in Gerry's blog on 13 June. The parents of Madeleine McCann went to Strasbourg today, trying to get the support of more 182 MEPs, for a “written declaration” that appeals for a system similar to the American Amber alert to be set up in EU, but they only managed to get 15 more signatures and are far from the 393 needed.

During a Press Conference, Kate and Gerry McCann reacted with exasperation, when journalists questioned them about the fact that they left three children alone in an apartment, the night when Madeleine disappeared. “We didn't abandoned or neglected Madeleine. Somebody came in the apartment and took a child. Repeating that question is really annoying”, was the answer of Gerry McCann.

“The fundamental question is the fact that a child was kidnapped and there is a criminal on the run”, said Kate McCann. “We must concentrate in the fundamental question. It's not helpful to insist in raising the same subject. Nothing changed, in the last 14 months and I don't understand why we are talking about that, again.”

Duarte Levy and Paulo Reis

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