A waste of ammo

Prime Minister Costas Simitis’s recent dramatization of the issue of Europe’s embryonic rapid reaction force, with his indirect threat of vetoing the process, and his personal briefing of opposition party leaders, has further complicated the issue and helped turned it into a national one. The public, which is not supposed to follow the developments of negotiations, has formed the impression that our EU peers, the US, and Turkey have set us up and are seeking to reproduce NATO’s problematic status in the region inside the nascent military force. Hence, we have to react in order to prevent this negative development… Athens has now threatened to veto the creation of the Euroforce, reacting against attempts to give Turkey a say in EU military planning. However, during the bargaining, the government neither raised objections nor tried to undermine the discussions between Washington, London and Ankara that produced the so-called Ankara document. Furthermore, it didn’t try to prevent its partners from endorsing it. What makes the political elite now think that they can achieve what they have failed to take care of in previous years? Even if they managed, would it be worth paying the price for past omissions? This is especially the case during such a crucial period for Cyprus, where the threat of veto will likely be needed to win the national wager of the island’s EU accession.