The German Ambassador to Athens made a surprising announcement while speaking to the Standing European Affairs Committee of the Greek parliament earlier today, saying that Turkey will soon see the “stick” from the European Council.
“Germany, during its European Union presidency, maybe at the next European Council, will talk to Turkey with the threat of sanctions and the general deterioration of its relationship with the EU,” said the German Ambassador to Greece, Dr. Ernst Reichel.
“We are dealing with a difficult neighbour and this is a problem we have not only with Turkey but also with Russia, which is also a difficult neighbour. We must persuade Turkey and the question is how to persuade it. I believe the right answer is with a stick and carrot approach. I want to say that the European Council will show Turkey the stick very soon,” he said.
Last month the German Ambassador angered Greek social media users with an insensitive tweet made at the height of the Greek-Turkish tensions in the East Mediterranean, as reported by Greek City Times.
It appears that Reichel is attempting to improve Germany’s image in Greece after taking an appeasement policy towards Turkey’s aggression against European Union members Greece and Cyprus, but admitted that German leaders are virtually disinterested.
“We live in very troubled and difficult times. The issue with Turkey is very important for the German presidency. It is not one of the issues we have included in the written report and presentation of the German presidency but, in the meantime, things have changed,” he said.
“You are well aware that the chancellor and the foreign minister have thoroughly analysed the issue of relations with Turkey. The chancellor considers it her own personal issue to prevent military conflict, to bring about de-escalation and a peaceful delimitation of the maritime zones,” he said after admitting that Turkey is not an issue in a written report and presentation to the German presidency.
“The chancellor has had some success, so far. The research vessel Oruç Reis withdrew from Kastellorizo last weekend and, if we succeed, very soon we will pass to the next stage, which is the start of the so-called exploratory contacts,” Reichel said.