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Linda battles to keep Tobacco vote on schedule

The Socialists and Democrats group for which Linda leads on Tobacco, called today on all political groups in the European Parliament to respect the schedule for the plenary session next week and vote on the new Tobacco Directive, as initially planned.

Following the centre-right EPP Group's request to postpone the vote without setting a new date, Hannes Swoboda, the president of the S&D Group in the European Parliament said:

"I am deeply disappointed that the EPP bowed to pressure from the tobacco lobby by voting for the postponement of the vote on the Tobacco Directive. Once again, the EPP is obstructing European legislation that would help protect European citizens, especially children and young people.

"The Socialists and Democrats Group decided unanimously to maintain next week's vote – against industry pressure – to ensure that a constructive and comprehensive Tobacco Directive is implemented without delay."

Linda said:

"We fully respect the timetable and there is no reason to postpone the vote.

"We should not give in to the pressure from tobacco producers who have been intensively lobbying the members of the Parliament.

"The member states represented in the EU Council already adopted their position to pass this directive – aimed at deterring young people from starting to smoke – last June. It would be hard to explain to citizens that the European Parliament lacks the political will to take a stand on such an important topic for public health.

"We have discussed it extensively, we have organised seminars on every specific aspect of the legislation and now it is the time to vote."

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