Germany and Bulgaria most vocal in blocking sanctions against Turkey

Germany and Bulgaria were the most vocal among the EU countries who blocked sanctions against Turkey at the EU summit on Thursday, diplomatic sources told EURACTIV.

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov were the EU leaders who openly opposed sanctions against Ankara,” the sources said.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Although it is known Spain, Italy, Malta and Hungary were also against sanctions, they did not express it as strongly compared to the previous European Council meeting.

“Bulgaria’s leader Borissov is a known friend of Erdoğan and his behaviour is unpredictable,” an EU diplomat told EURACTIV last week.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed satisfaction that the EU “has demonstrated its ability to show rigor” towards Turkey

The new sanctions being prepared by the European Union show that the EU will no longer accept destabilizing actions in the wider region, he said.

Macron once again denounced Turkey’s actions in Libya, where it “threatens our interests in the immigration issue, not allowing effective coastal control and bringing jihadists into the zone of departure to Europe.”

French President Emmanuel Macron.
French President Emmanuel Macron.

“Turkey continues to act unilaterally and arbitrarily in Syria… which poses the risk of re-establishing a caliphate,” Macron said, while also denouncing Turkey’s actions in the Caucasus.