Former PM Simitis blames Karamanlis for Turkey’s behavior


Greece’s former socialist prime minister Costas Simitis has said that the stance of former New Democracy premier Costas Karamanlis during a 2004 European Union summit in Brussels paved the way for Turkey’s current provocative behavior regarding its maritime borders with Greece.

In a scathing article published in Ta Nea newspaper on Saturday, Simitis, who served as premier from 1996 to 2004, said that at the Brussels Summit it was decided to start Turkey’s accession course to the EU, “although it had not settled its differences with Greece on the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf. ”

Simitis said that his government had set the settlement of these issues at the Helsinki summit in 1999 as a precondition for Turkey to start talks.

“The Greek Prime Minister [Karamanlis], while able to do so, during the debate [at the 2004 summit], did not object to Turkey’s failure to comply with the condition set in Helsinki,” he wrote.