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Amazing quotes from Michel Rocard

Patents: So the Conference of Presidents has ratified the JURI decision to throw out the flawed software patents directive text. Phew! That’s a lot more pressure on the European Commission. Charlie McCreevy could still carry on his attempt to steamroller European democracy on this one, but it looks likely that he wouldn’t get away with it now — possibly facing sanctions as a result.

Found in a Slashdot comment — an amazing quote from Michel Rocard (former French Prime Minister, now European Deputy), recounting a meeting with Microsoft representatives on the software-patent issue:

“We never could (speak) a common language with the companies representatives we met – in particular those from Microsoft. Speaking about (the free circulation of ideas), free access to knowledge, was like speaking chinese to them. In their way of thinking, everything that is not usable for immediate profit ceases to be an engine of growth. They don’t seem to be able to understand that an invention which is a pure spirit creation (sic) can’t be patented. It’s simply terrifying. Many of us, at the Parliament, agree to say that they never have know such a pressure and such a verbal violence during their parliamentary work. It is a huge case.”

In addition, he takes aim at the Irish Presidency’s tactics:

“To adopt it formally, there is an expeditious procedure — the (A-item) at the Council of Ministers, where the it is adopted without discussion. The Irish and Dutch presidencies attempted this tactic three times, twice at meetings of the (Fisheries Council)! This is simply scandalous.”

Blimey, he’s really pissed off. Great! Go Rocard! ;)

See here for the original interview (in French), and here for a bad Babelfish translation.

In happier news — take a look at some pictures from the presentation of 30,000 verified signatures (and flowers!) from people around the world, thanking the Polish Government for their repeated stands against the flawed directive in December.