Whilst giving a Statement of Objectives for their 6-month Presidency to the Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy Committee, Trade Minister, BERTEL HAARDER, was pressed by Rt. Hon. Sir Robert Atkins MEP (North West England) and Conservative Spokesman on Trade and Industry matters in the European Parliament, on Trade Relations with Southern Africa in general and Zimbabwe in particular.

"What steps will the President-in-Council take against the thuggish and corrupt regime of Mugabe which will hasten its demise, whilst ensuring humanitarian assistance and trade development for the Zimbabwean people?" asked Sir Robert.

The Danish Minister accepted and agreed with the need to act and promised the "carrot and stick" approach with immediate effect. " We must not let our real desire to resolve the problems of an unacceptable government affect our commitment to the increasingly desperate needs of the ordinary people of Zimbabwe", he commented.

Sir Robert concluded, "I am delighted that the Danish Presidency has committed itself to keeping up the pressure on Mugabe's oppressive administration and that the European Union will continue to fight for the real interests of the suffering people of Zimbabwe."

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