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.
-----------------------We want Chiwawas
I always thought our policy of trying to get the Americans to call for EU accession at every chance they get was amateurish and counterproductive. Milliyet quotes Bush as saying: "If it was me, I'd accept Turkey into the EU" (yeah right), to which Chirac angrily responds "Do we tell you how to act toward Mexico?"
Maybe at some point we will defeat the desperation and hysteria. Who knows maybe we will get beyond our myopic EU focus. For now, yo querio taco bell.
Meanwhile, Milliyet also reports that Foreign Minister Gul is taking steps to act as mediator between Armenia and Azerbaijan. This goes with my guess that Turkey is trying to dodge the genocide issue by moving to open borders with Armenia before December.
However, Blogrel points out that Erdogan believes it is "impossible" to go foward while genocide recognition by the Armenian Diaspora is insisted upon. But it has been reported earlier by some that Armenia itself does not see recognition as a prerequisite to opening borders. If it is impossible for us to accept the genocide, then Turkey must think it is impossible for the EU to insist on the issue. And whatever the probability of that is, it is far from "impossible". And rightly so.