Convention? What convention?

In view of the fact that only 50 percent of the Greek public is adequately informed, according to a recent poll, about the launch of Turkey’s accession talks with the European Union, it is safe to assume that just as small a minority was aware that EU leaders convened at Hampton Court, in the UK, last week. There was also widespread ignorance regarding the issues on the agenda – the future of the EU and the methods by which it plans to boost its competitiveness and growth. There is already a fierce debate on this subject under way in Europe between those who support Britain’s liberal model and the advocates of the social welfare state championed by France and Germany. On the eve of the unofficial summit in Britain, many European newspapers – including Kathimerini – featured the comments of Europe’s most ardent supporter of unification, French President Jacques Chirac, on the bloc’s future. Meanwhile, Chirac’s biggest rival – and the most keen to preserve transatlantic ties – British Prime Minister Tony Blair, aired his views before the European Parliament. Despite the rather academic nature of the EU summit (no decisions were made), the issues it raised are of great significance for all member states, not least Greece, which generally views its future as connected to that of Europe as a whole. Nevertheless, it is not clear whether any of our politicians went to the trouble to air their views – not to the electronic media (generally indifferent about such subjects) but to the press.

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