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Madeleine McCann's parents want MEP support for Europe wide missing child alert

Original Source:  TELEGRAPH: MONDAY 16 JUNE 2008
By Caroline Gammell Last Updated: 4:19PM BST 16/06/2008

Kate and Gerry McCann are travelling to Strasbourg to try and boost their attempts to establish a European wide missing child alert system.

The couple visited Brussels in April to ask MEPs to back a written resolution calling for the initiative, but their trip was overshadowed by the apparent leaking of their police statements made shortly after Madeleine disappeared.

Mr and Mrs McCann, from Rothley in Leicestershire, have one month left to get the majority of MEPs to give their support.

They have 211 signatures already and need another 182 names to ensure that their written declaration is sent to the EU President and published.

Even with the support required, such a declaration carries no legal weight in the European Union but the McCanns believe it would help them win the moral argument over whether such a cross-border system is needed.

They hope that their presence in Strasbourg will help them reach the 393 mark.

Clarence Mitchell, their spokesman, said: "Kate and Gerry are confident that this can be achieved but they accept that there's a lot to be done. They remain confident but they are not naive."

Mr Mitchell said Mrs McCann had led a "sustained email campaign" as part of the effort, sending messages urging MEPs to sign up.

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The couple believe a child abduction alert system - similar to the United States' Amber Alert - would have helped the search for their three-year-old daughter in the crucial hours after her disappearance.

Madeleine vanished from her family's holiday apartment, in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on May 3 last year



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