Statement by José Manuel Barroso on the situation in Zimbabwe
End production: 09/04/2008 First transmission: 09/04/2008
When asked about Zimbabwe at a news conference on EU development aid on 9 April 2008, José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, said that he was very concerned by delays in the release of results of Zimbabwe's presidential election and by the lack of transparency in the election process. He told journalists that one thing should be made very clear to Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, and his entourage: the people of Zimbabwe want a change, they want democracy, they want freedom, they want to be able to tackle poverty and the economic chaos they are living through. The comments represented the strongest criticism so far by Brussels of the 29 March election. Robert Mugabe is trying to delay the result announcement, pending a recount, to give him time to prepare for a probable runoff against Morgan Tsvangirai.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the European Commission building
||General view of the press conference
||José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, (in FRENCH) saying that the EC is very concerned about the delays and the lack of transparency in the presidential election process; the majority of citizens of Zimbabwe are going through a very difficult period in economic and social terms; these people went to vote and they are entitled to a transparent election process; one thing they have to make very clear to Robert Mugabe and his entourage is that the people of Zimbabwe want a change, they want democracy, they want freedom, they want to tackle poverty and the economic chaos
||José Manuel Barroso (in FRENCH) saying that he hopes that all those who have a role to play will be able to contribute to a peaceful and stable transition towards a fully democratic society; he also hopes that the other countries of the region and the panafrican organizations will be able to contribute in this process; the international community and in particular the EU are prepared to make a further effort to tackle extreme poverty in Zimbabwe and to do everything to get the Zimbabwean economy out of its current coma; there have been a number of restrictions in economic cooperation with Zimbabwe, after a Council decision on 18 February 2002; nevertheless the Commission has continued the humanitarian aid through direct aid to the people in Zimbabwe for 87 million Euros in 2007; this shows the EU's support for the people of Zimbabwe
||José Manuel Barroso (in FRENCH) saying that it is important to do everything they can to avoid the deterioration of the situation and the best solution would be transparency in the election results and wilingness of the various parties in Zimbabwe to start an inclusive process of democratic stabilization of the country