NEWS

Political dissent over Euroforce

Greece expressed satisfaction with the decisions of the Laeken European Union summit on the EU defense force, which was declared operational while the thorny issue of NATO-member Turkey’s relations with the force was put off until later. Speaking to journalists on Saturday after the two-day summit, Prime Minister Costas Simitis said the decision had been a success. It was our objective not to have (an agreement on the matter between Ankara and London) adopted while declaring the operational readiness of the new force, Simitis said. We achieved this in full. But yesterday, opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis said Simitis had got Greece stuck in a dead end. The government was unable to enforce what is self-evident, he said. What sort of a European army will this be that leaves EU member state Greece unprotected? What sort of a European army will this be that is unable, if necessary, to take action in the Aegean and Cyprus? Government spokesman Christos Protopappas dismissed Karamanlis’s remarks as mean-spirited, miserable, irresponsible and dangerous. Market expectations apparently underestimate Europe’s future economic performance compared to that of the United States, he said.