Greeks split over Turkey in EU

Greek public opinion is virtually split down the middle as regards the repercussions of Turkey’s potential accession to the European Union, according to a nationwide survey by pollsters VPRC whose results were made public yesterday. According to the poll, which was conducted a week after the launch of EU talks with Turkey on October 3, 46 percent of Greeks believe that Turkey’s eventual EU membership would be «in the interest» of Greece. However, 50 percent of respondents said they deemed the launch of Ankara’s negotiations with Brussels as a «rather negative» development. The poll also showed almost two thirds of Greeks believing that Turkish accession would have a negative impact on the European economy with almost half fearing that such a move would undermine security in the bloc. Moreover, 45 percent said they believed that Turkey’s presence in the 25-nation bloc would not contribute toward a Cyprus solution. But 65 percent of respondents said they believed that Greek-Turkish relations «would probably improve» if Ankara was to join the bloc. Also, 41 percent believed such a development would boost national security, with 55 percent opining that it would make Turkey less of a threat. Turkey’s EU accession would also open up new markets for Greek products, according to 41 percent of respondents.