Local SNP MEP Grilled By 50 Edinburgh Children

08 November 2005
"Toughest questions are always from younger folk!"

Edinburgh based SNP Member of the European Parliament Alyn Smith was yesterday grilled by an audience of Primary 7 Children at Currie Primary School as part of their Citizenship course on the European Union.

The MEP faced intense questioning for an hour and a half on issues from what preparations the EU has made for an outbreak of bird flu, to global warming, how much he earns and what country he likes best in the EU.

Speaking after his interrogation, Mr Smith said:

"It is always fun to put myself in front of an audience of young people, they really cut to the chase with the big questions! These pupils have obviously had a great introduction to Europe at Currie Primary School, they knew their stuff to an extent that would put a number of adults to shame.

"Anyone who says young folk are apathetic should have seen this meeting. The questions tended to cover the bigger issues like global warming, what sort of effect climate change will have on Scotland and the rest of the world.

I like speaking to an audience like this, they get right in about you, asking what I'm actually doing about issues rather than just talk. I was glad to report that I'm doing all I can to encourage renewable energy in Scotland as we could lead the world in these emerging technologies and be Europe's green energy powerhouse. The audience seemed to like the ambition!

"I'll confess though I particularly liked the question asking what I would change about Europe if I could change one thing. I had to think fast but the one thing I would like to see would be more Scots students from High Schools, Colleges and Universities spending part of their education elsewhere in Europe. This is a great way to see how other people in other countries are different, but in so many ways the same.

ENDS

Note to Editors

A picture of Mr Smith with the children is attached. All due permissions to reproduce the picture have been obtained.