OPINION

Dialogue

It would be unfair to say that Foreign Minister George Papandreou is the only one responsible for the retreat of Greece’s policy on Turkey, as this has been a long process that, quite paradoxically, has been connected with PASOK, the party which raised the tones of rhetorical confrontation with Ankara. More specifically, the crisis of March 1987 resulted in Greece’s abstinence from drilling in the Aegean Sea even in areas which were only a few hundred meters off its continental borders… In the winter of 1988 in Davos, the prime ministers at the time, the late Andreas Papandreou and his Turkish counterpart Turgut Ozal agreed to register all the Aegean Sea issues, and it was only after domestic turmoil that whole issue was forgotten. In July 1997, more than a year after the Imia crisis, a document signed by Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Turkish President Suleyman Demirel recognized the existence of «vital interests» of both countries in the Aegean. Finally, in December 1999, the resolutions of the European Union’s Helsinki summit encouraged Turkey, as an EU candidate country, to resolve its territorial disputes with Greece, while in public and particularly at the domestic level the Greek government claimed that there are no outstanding territorial disputes with Turkey… The Socialists were to meet on February 5 to vote for a new candidate for prime minister, amid fermenting tensions between supporters of Nano and Meta.