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On Thursday morning six members of the Green Party were wheeled out as the candidates for the European parliamentary elections on 23 May.

The media call was held at the Welcoming Association’s HQ. Both Patrick Harvie the co-convener of the Scottish Greens and the top candidate, Maggie Chapman took questions from the media, (that means The Edinburgh Reporter!) before meeting with the EU citizens who are new to the capital and are learning English at the centre.

The Greens want to stop Brexit and also with what they regard as a broken political system in Westminster, they feel that we could do much better here in Scotland.

The Scottish Green candidates for the upcoming European elections

Patrick Harvie the co-convener of Scottish Greens explained : “A lot of people dont want a European election. But the Greens are excited, positive and optimistic about this opportunity. There have not been enough debates about what the opportunities of remaining could be, and the green wave across Europe has some of the most important ideas of what Europe needs to be in future.

“I think that part of our campaign is to say to the public who are expressing more concern about this crisis than before, that we know they understand the crisis. We respect that they see the need for a change. And that they can turn that change from a crisis into an opportunity for better lives and a more equal society.

“Something like the oil and gas industry does not offer people a secure long term future.”

Asked how he would deal with people who voted to leave but might still be interested in the Green Party, Harvie said : “The problems of Europe, I believe, are not due to the EU as a structure, they are very often due to the unhelpful behaviour of Member State governments including the UK government. If you think there is something wrong with the European democracy I am up for discussion about how to make it better and more accountable.But don’t pretend there is a problem with the European democracy and not with the UK democracy in a Westminster parliament, one of the houses of which is not elected at all!”

Patrick Harvie co-convener of the Scottish Greens ©2019TheEdinburghReporter

Maggie Chapman a former Edinburgh councillor and now the lead candidate for the party said : “We need to make sure that people understand the connection between the economy and the environmental crisis we face. We need to make sure that we deal with the climate crisis that we face by tackling its cause and that is our broken economy. We can’t just deal with the symptoms, we need to deal with the cause. Joining in with Greens across Europe and having a continent-wide Green new deal that puts community and people at the heart of things and uses their creativity and commitment to communities to make things better. It’s about having secure long term well-paid jobs and not having the precarious work we have seen emerging across Europe.

“We know that the Green message has always been one of hope and that is an element of the campaign that we will really be pushing.

“We need to be out at the forefront making the strongest case for the European project because we are after all Europeans.”

Chas Booth who is number four on the list is a City of Edinburgh councillor and he said: “I would be delighted and really excited to be elected as a Member of the European Parliament, but I am here as a supporting candidate. I am going to be working really hard to try and get Maggie Chapman elected who is our top placed woman to replace the dreadfully regressed far right MEP who is there at the moment. We have a message of hope over hate.”

And then Patrick Harvie unlocked his bike and cycled off to Holyrood….