Europarliament to Aid World Youth Day

Allocation OK’d in 272-201 Vote

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STRASBOURG, France, MARCH 1, 2005 ( The European Parliament will allocate funds for this year’s World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany.

The request for financial support for the event, presented to the Parliament by the European Popular Party, received 272 votes in favor, and 201 against. The amount to be allocated is still not known.

«At the request of the Group of the Popular Party, the Liberals and the Union of the Europe of Nations, it was decided to grant a quota of the funding to European projects, as the [German] Christian Democratic Union party proposed some time ago, to WYD,» explained Ruth Hieronymi, a member of the Commission for Culture, Youth, Education, Media and Sports, in a statement Thursday after the vote.

In a previous vote, held during the December plenary meeting, the Socialists and Greens opposed the allocation of 1.5 million euros, proposed in the 2005 European budget that was being studied, because of their «neutral view of the world.»

«The European Parliament thus invites the European Union’s Commission to use the existing entry in its 1.5-million-euro budget to finance events such as the Mediterranean Games, Solidarity’s 25th anniversary, and World Youth Day,» said Hieronymi.

«It is a wonderful gesture that demonstrates in an obvious manner how European feelings about World Youth Day have produced innumerable fruits even in Brussels,» said Heiner Koch, World Youth Day secretary-general, quoted by Vatican Radio.

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