Germany’s EU Council Presidency has seen the greatest tensions in Greek-Turkish relations since 1974

Germany's EU Council Presidency has seen the greatest tensions in Greek-Turkish relations since 1974 1

Merkel’s failure to “tame” Turkey while it is occupying the EU presidency was explained by the associate professor of International Law and Foreign Policy at Panteion University and Member of Parliament of the ruling New Democracy Party, Angelos Syrigos.

He also expressed the belief that sanctions against Turkey will not be passed on December 10-11.

“We are currently refraining from imposing sanctions on Turkey. If we read carefully all of Merkel’s statements, we will find that, among other things, she refers to the enormous importance that Turkey has in curbing the flow of migrants and refugees,” he said.

“At a time when the German chancellor is talking about aggressive and provocative actions by Turkey, she at the same time says that Turkey has received more weight than any other country,” the professor added.

Of course Merkel does not highlight that Turkey has created many refugees by directly invading northern Syria and areas of Libya, Artsakh and Iraq.

The MP added that Germany, when it took over the EU presidency, had a specific agenda for Turkey.

“They wanted to make a new agreement on immigration, they wanted to lay the groundwork to change the the EU-Turkey customs union agreement, and nothing was done,” he said.

“On the contrary, in the five months of the German presidency, four months have been the greatest tension that existed in the Greek-Turkish relations since the invasion of Cyprus,” the MP continued.

“If the most powerful country in Europe, the country with enormous power inside Turkey, while holding the presidency cannot control Turkish behavior, then this is only called a failure,” Syrigos stressed.

Angelos Syrigos discussing EU sanctions on SKAI.
Angelos Syrigos discussing EU sanctions on SKAI.

Regarding the upcoming Summit of European Leaders, he stated that there will be a list of sanctions for the presence of Turkish ships in the East Mediterranean, but they will not be activated.

“The current trend in the EU is that we have a new administration in the US, Turkey is a very serious issue, and we need to coordinate with America and see what action we need to take against Turkey. So, whatever decisions are made about Turkey, it will be taken at the European Council in March 2021,” said the professor of International Law.

At the same time, he stressed that what emerges from yesterday’s announcements by Peter Stano is that the Commission insists on the idea that there should be a big conference on the Mediterranean, in which everyone will participate, but this seems to be Turkey’s idea.

Commenting on the Turkish president’s announcements yesterday about a series of reforms he will make in Turkey, the professor noted that “if we look at this game that Erdogan is going to play with his reform announcements, it has been a practice followed by all Turkish governments since 1999.”

“It is recalled that in 1999 it was decided that Turkey is a country that can enter the EU accession process and a wave of reforms followed. This wave was coming in the days when the European Council was to meet. In this way, Erdogan wants to enable his friends in the EU to say that it is still early,” he concluded.