01 November, 2005
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, addressing Parliament during an off-the-agenda debate on foreign policy on Monday night, warned the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) that an accession course towards the European Union can exist either after a mutually acceptable solution (to the issue of the neighboring country's name) is found or with the name FYROM and that there is no other path.
Speaking about Turkey, he also said that "European principles and values cannot compromise neither with casus belli nor with the occupation of European territory."
Referring to the country's political forces, Karamanlis said that citizens want the political parties to unite and not to create accusations and pretexts for barren confrontations.
"Greeks demand unity and unanimity, at least on the major national issues," he said.
Addressing the government of FYROM, the prime minister reminded that with the interim agreement reached in 1995 the neighboring country accepted that Greece has the right not to agree to its accession to international organizations if this is attempted with any other name that has not been agreed on, apart from that of FYROM.
"I want to be absolutely clear. There can only be an accession course to the EU in two cases. Either after a mutually acceptable solution, or with the name FYROM.
There is no other path. Greece has proved and is proving in practice its good faith. It has proved and is proving that it observes its obligations in full. However, it also demands corresponding respect for its rights. It demands agreements to be observed by all. And this cannot be forgotten by any one. I think that the message is very clear," he said.
Referring to Turkey's "long" European course, Karamanlis said it will be monitored by the "25" and, consequently, by Athens and Nicosia as well. He said that Ankara will be assessed, among other things, on the Copenhagen criteria, acceptance of the procedures of the International Court at The Hague and "the radical change of position" on the issues of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Theological School of Halki and the rights of the Greeks of Istanbul, Imvros and Tenedos, etc.
"Turkey can become a member of the EU when, and of course if, it fully responds to European criteria and preconditions, the principles and values of the EU, principles and preconditions which do not compromise neither with casus belli nor with the occupation of European territory. Only its full response and full compliance will open the door to its accession," he said.
Karamanlis outlined the government's initiatives in the direction of achieving stability, cooperation and development in southeastern Europe, such as on finding a "European solution" regarding the future of Kosovo, as well as the accession, gradually, of neighboring countries to the EU.
The prime minister further said that what is best for the EU is to move ahead with all member-states, adding that if some do not want or cannot do that there is the path of strengthened cooperation in such sectors as the economy, foreign policy, security and defense and mentioned, as an example, that of the EMU and the eurogroup.
On the question of Common Agricultural Policy, he said that the existing agreement will be implemented until 2013 and that in Athens "we are not discussing new cutbacks."
Karamanlis also announced that the way is being paved for order to be secured in the sector of the electronic mass media in the country.
Commenting on the fact that common ground has been found with the EU on the issue of the primary shareholder, the prime minister pointed out that "the way is now being paved for the next arrangements and reforms on the major issues of concentration and licensing of the electronic mass media."
Source: Athens News Agency