OPINION

A cause celebre?

… Greece’s EU peers did not object to Athens’s proposal for an amendment to the second paragraph of the agreement between US, British and Turkish officials, otherwise known as the «Ankara text.» This particular paragraph is, in a sense, absurd anyway, as it concludes that under no circumstances will Europe’s nascent military force be used against a NATO ally. Athens wants the text to make clear that a NATO country will not be able to attack an EU member; an amendment acceptable to EU states. It was normal that Turkey refused to accept the amendment, as it would like to see the issue transferred to the second half of this year. Ankara can thereby increase its bargaining power and come closer to its main goal of being granted a clear date for the beginning of accession negotiations with the EU. It seems most likely that Turkey will neither get such a reward from the EU nor accept the Greek amendment, as it would undo the decision of the Turkish assembly over a casus belli should Greece extend its territorial waters to 12 miles (19 km). It seems more probable, rather, that the final sentence of the so-called Ankara text will be removed. Such a settlement should not be a cause celebre for the Greek government. In any case, Greece’s national issues would not be insured by the European force, which will not be an autonomous European army but only a force supplementary to NATO, responsible for peacemaking outside NATO’s contours…