Final solutions

In a recent speech to PASOK’s Central Committee, Costas Simitis noted that 2004 would be the year for tackling domestic issues. And last week in Grevena, the prime minister stated that «a solution to the political problem (in Cyprus) and a final settlement to Greek-Turkish disputes in the Aegean lie before us, probably in 2004.» In another part of the same speech, Simitis confines his remarks to the familiar debate regarding the delineation of the continental shelf (as if this were the only problem Greece has with Turkey over the Aegean). Such observations have led political commentators to speculate that certain developments in the Aegean dispute will not be so long in coming. Meanwhile, the «foreign factor» is boosting efforts to restart Cyprus negotiations. At the same time, Ankara has resolved to do whatever it takes to ensure its prospects of joining the European Union are not relegated to the distant future. If we do see developments in the above areas and Greece finds itself in a position where dialogue with Turkey about Aegean issues could lead to the International Court in The Hague, to what extent is the government prepared to deal with such a serious matter? Has the government consulted with the opposition over how such a matter would be handled? Or has it simply been keeping it informed with the aim of presenting politicians and citizens alike with a «fait accompli» in due course, even if that occurs during the current pre-election period?

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