14 November, 2006
Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Monday said that Athens wanted the EU to take a tough line on Turkey, in an interview with Financial Times Deutschland on the course of the Euro-Turkish relations.
In the interview with the subheading “the foreign minister warns of EU loss of credibility - little hope for a solution to the Cyprus issue”, Bakoyannis states that Greece calls on the EU member states to send a clear political message and take all necessary measures against Turkey in case Ankara does not open its ports and airports to Cypriot ships and airplanes by December.
"We cannot continue like this, as if nothing has happened," Bakoyannis is quoted as saying in the interview, while she also points out that there is an agreement that Turkey’s EU accession process will be affected if it does not meet its obligations.
After stressing that the European partners should adopt a consistent stance, Bakoyannis stated that she supports the Finnish EU Presidency efforts to lift the impasse, while pointing out Turkey’s refusal to participate in the talks. She also reiterated that Greece has no place in these talks.
The foreign minister also noted that Greece supports Turkey’s EU accession under certain preconditions. “Turkey does not have only supporters in the EU. At this moment, its policy offers arguments to its opponents”, she stated characteristically.
According to the foreign minister, Europe should send a clear political message to Turkey for internal EU credibility reasons. The ball is in Turkey’s court, underlined Bakoyannis.
Bakoyannis did not rule out the likelihood --if it is deemed necessary-- to reconsider Turkey’s EU accession timetable, stating characteristically that “if Turkey refuses (to meet its obligations) we should reconsider”.
Source: Athens News Agency