Tuesday, June 29, 2004
-----------------------Pass the Doochie on the Left Hand Side
Things are getting tense in Cyprus:
THE government is working frantically to thwart EU plans to open direct trade with the breakaway Turkish Cypriot regime in the north, hinting at a recourse to the European Court of Justice if the move goes ahead.
The Greek Cypriot side is up in arms following the leaking of a draft package of measures by the European Commission to end Turkish Cypriot isolation in the wake of the community’s ‘yes’ vote for the Annan plan in April. The EU is to decide on the package on July 7.
Under the plan, the EU would open direct trade, which involves the opening up of ports and possibly airports, under Article 133 of the Treaty of Rome, which covers customs duties between the bloc and third “countries and territories”.
The recent Treaty of Nice says such a decision does not need the unanimous approval of the European Council of Minister, just a qualified majority.
In simple terms it means that to pass the measure, the European Commission needs 88 out of 124 votes. Cyprus has two votes under the system, which grants more votes to the bigger countries, while Greece has five.