OPINION

Patience called for as EU plans change

Greece is getting rather bewildered with France’s resolute stance against Turkey and the demands by Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin and President Jacques Chirac that Turkey recognize Cyprus before scheduled accession talks with the European Union begin in October. The detached patience that Costas Karamanlis’s government has been practicing until now will probably not be necessary for much longer as the Turkish question is to be discussed on August 24 by the EU’s committee of permanent representatives and in September by the European Council of foreign ministers. However, the most important thing is not the decision that will be made by the EU’s foreign ministers but the stance that will be adopted by Greece and Cyprus while the EU is deliberating on its position. It would be ridiculous if Greeks and Cypriots did not participate in a debate over the need for Turkey to recognize Cyprus. The interesting thing about politics, however, is that it is often surprising and throws off plans. In this sense, the stance adopted by France has injected new life into Europe’s sluggish political scene. Karamanlis had expected Turkey to start EU talks on October 3. But plans have changed and Greece must now embrace a stance for Turkey’s imminent recognition of Cyprus…