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Home arrow newsitems arrow Franco - Italian Sarkozy - Berlusconi 2010 Summit: For EU Autonomy on Energy, Defence, and Economy+

Franco - Italian Sarkozy - Berlusconi 2010 Summit: For EU Autonomy on Energy, Defence, and Economy+

Written by ACM
Friday, 09 April 2010

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*Angelo Marcopolo/Paris/-  A strong will to meet a vital need for EU's Autonomous Development on Energy and Economy, but also on Sovereignity/Political issues such as Defence etc. was clearly expressed at the 2010 Franco - Italian Summit, by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, adding a GeoPoliticaly complementary dimension to EU's Franco-German "motor".

Now that all 3 Big EU Member Countries are not only better fit to spearhead closer EU integration after the recent entry into force of Lisbon Treaty's "Reinforced Cooperations" New Mecnaism, since all their 3 Leaders, of the same political ChristianDemocrat/EPP family, benefit from Solid Electoral Mandates for the Years to come, but given also Italy's Strategic Geographic location as a central EU-Africa Bridge  for the new Franco-German High Tech plans to produce and transport Solar Energy from Sahara to the EU via the Mediterranean with the "Desertec" and "TransGreen" Environment-friendly projects, (See relevant "EuroFora"'s NewsReports).

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    The move includes also Space High Tech. developments, where important contracts are due to be signed soon, as experienced former EU Commission's vice-President and currently Foreign Minister of Italy, Franco Fratini told "EuroFora", (See infra).

    - "This (2010) Summit is just the Tip of the Iceberg concerning the joint work prepared by Ministers, ... which will unfold during the forthcoming Weeks and Months' developments", French President Sarkozy indeed warned from the outset, stressing that "France and Italy are linked by an extremely Strong Friendship, Proximity and Convergence of Views".

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    Significantly, Sarkozy was speaking just 1 week before  a scheduled meeting between Berlusconi and German Chancelor Merkel at Hannover, pointing towards growing coordination at EU's core.  - "Italy is naturaly one of the big EU Countries with which France has particularly close links, but it's obviously only by joining that together with Germany and other EU Countries that European policies can move forward. And in sectors such as Defence, f.ex. the U.K. is also very important for Europe", a well informed source from the French Presidency carefuly told "EuroFora" at Elysee palace.


Fratini appeared particularly happy to "EuroFora" when we reminded the fact that Italy made a remarkable Diplomatic came-back recently at Strasbourg's Pan-European scene by suceeding to elect to the influential Top Job of CoE Parliamentary Assembly's bigest Group of MEPs, that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP's Chairman, (due to become PACE's President in the next few years), among 5 candidates, the young Italian MP, chair of UDC, Luca Volonte

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Reduce Energy dependency from foreign CO2 polluting fossil materials

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    - "The 1st point is Energy Security", Sarkozy declared, paying "Tribute to the Hi storic Decision of the Italian Government of Mr. Berlusconi to make the choice of the Nuclear" Energy, that he qualified as "an extremely Important decision, which will bring France and Italy even closer".


    While currently, Italy's Electricity "depends for almost 80% from Imported commodities", such as Foreign Oil and Gas, as a Spokeswoman of the Italian Power Company ENEL told "EuroFora", in the Future, Rome can start to have its own Production of Electricity at the horizon 2013, by building "at least 4 EPRs ("Evolutionary Pressurized Reactors)", thanks to a cooperation between Enel and EDF, as well as FinMecanica, with Areva Technology" from France, which is due to develop in the Future also towards other projects in 3rd Countries.
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     - "We signed and we are going to sign many operational Agreements in all aspects of the Nuclear sector", because, "our Will is to work hand in hand with the Italian enterprises to develop the Nuclear" Technology, Sarkozy stressed. "The Ambitions of the Italian Government are very important, I think from 2013", and also "France and its enterprises, we are really decided to invest in working with the Italians, to train experts, to develop common activiies between big groups as EDF and ENEL (Electricity Companies of France and Italy), as Ansaldo (of FinMecanica), Areva, etc. That's something that works well, since we had initially launched it at Rome last year, and we want to advance much further today".

     - "We (Italy) were at the Front Row (avant-garde) in the past on the Nuclear sector, and Enrico Fermi, who invented the Nuclear Energy was Italian". So, back "in 1964, we already had a Nuclear Reactor, and, afterwards, another 2", replied Berlusconi. But, "afterwards, there were reactions from the Greens, the Ecologists, and, after a Referendum, the Italian People had decided to renounce to this Enerhy source".

    - However, "the result is that, today, (Italian) Citizens and Businesses pay their Electricity almost + 30% more compared to other EU Citizens and Businesses ! This obviously is a Problem in terms, f.ex. of Competitivity", he denounced. "That's why, the Deecision to relaunch the Nuclear" Energy "is necessary".

    - For thut purpose, "we must ensure the Citizens who live in areas where Reactors will be built, that these units are entirely Safe", the Italian Prime Minister stressed, speaking in the presence of French and Italian Environment Ministers Jean-Louis Borloo and Stefania Prestigiacomo, (from the Historic city of Syracuse, where she had organized in 2009 the G-8 Environment Summit), who declared their intention to develop Cooperation in Nuclear Safety and RadioProtection, and take joint positions at a European and Global level.

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    - "President Sarkozy reminded me that many French Nuclear Units, at any case, are located near the Alps" mountains, "and, therefore, (close) to our Borders. In consequence, if ever occured an accident - something unthinkable - the consequences would be felt equally in Italy", Berlusconi observed. But "we plan to launch TV campains, in cooperation with French TVs, to make some Interviews (and) inform the Italian People on the views of those who already live close to Nuclear Reactors in France". Because "there will be, indeed, a Period to prepare the Italian Public Opinion", he anounced.

    Meanwhile, a French Scientist, Professor Francois Cansell, President of the Polytechnic Institute of Bordeaux, speaking later to "EuroFora" at another Paris event, confirmed that he has recently invented a new way to save by decontaminating almost 70% of nuclear waste, allowing even to use anew the Metals contained in them, which has just reached "a Production stage", so that it could be easily used by Italy already before 2013.

A series of Agreements signed today by Borloo, who is also Energy and Sustainable Development Minister, and Scajola, the Italian Economic Development Minister, plan manifold concrete Measures in all aspects of the Nuclear Sector, including Scientific cooperation, Exchanges of University Students, Joint Research projects, a common working group on the Acceptability of Nuclear Energy, etc.
    
    At the same time, Franco-Italian Power Companies ENEL and EDF, as well as FinMeccaica's Ansaldo and Areva Industries, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for more than 5 Years of cooperation in the construction and development of more than 4 EPRs in Italy, and participation in tenders for engineering and supply of numerous EPR projects of EDF in other Countries,

    Reducing Energy Dependency from Foreign Countries in CO2 polluting Fossil raw materials, while Energy needs are due to grow in the foreseable Future, the Franco-Italian move fits a recent Worldwide trend towards a kind of "Nuclear Renaissance", since "at present, there are as many as 55 New Nuclear Power Plants under Construction", which "will add more than 50,000 MegaWats .. in 14 different Countries".

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    EU Defence : + SPACE High-Tech
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    - Speaking afterwards "on European Security", Sarkozy stressed that "Italy and France are, indeed, two Countries which spend a lot for EU's Security". Therefore, going well beyond a flagship decision to link their Mountain Units, where both countries share an "experience", particularly at the Alps, the French President anounced that "we want to do more : We are going to bring closer our (Defence) Industries", where "we have a lot of work to do".

     Indeed, "Lisbon Treaty's entry into force (since December 2009) opens New Perspectives to confirm EU's role as a Global Security Actor", and the EU will be led to take over more and more important responsibilities to guarantee its security and contribute to International Peace and Stability", stresses from the outset a "Joint Statement of the Franco-Italian Summit on Security and Defence".

    "In order to reinforce UE's Capacities, Italy and France intend to seize the New Opportunities opened by the (Lisbon) Treaty for a more Integration of (EU) Member States' Armed Forces, via a Common Security and Defence Policy, and, in the Future, a Real European Defence".

    "A stronger European Defence is also essential in order to reinforce NATO, and the role of Europeans inside the (TransAtlantic) Alliance", Italy and France add, stressing that "a leap forward is needed in EU - NATO relations, for full complementarity and for a more efficient use of resources".

    For that purpose, the two mainstream EU countries want a bigger Visibility of UE's positions inside UNO's Security Council, (particularly) on Crisis - Management", and to undertake "Common Initiatives" in domains such as, "in case of Natural or Humanitarian Disasters, (f.ex. the "Bridging Solidarity Overseas" project, etc) ; Planification Mechanisms for Aleas ; EU level Training ; strengthening Financial Solidarity among EU Member States for the deployment of EU> Operations ; reinforcement of EU's capacity to planify and conduct Military and/or Civic Operations ; perspectives for a Permanent Structural Cooperation (CSP) ; Joint Sea Ship Patrols in the Mediterranean, etc ; develop an integrated European Maritime Policy to fight against illegal Trafficking, Terrorism, Proliferation, illegal Immigration, Piracy, etc., agreeing with "the Spanish (EU) Presidency's proposal to launch .. a European Maritime Security Strategy".

    Being "the 1st Partner of each other in the sector of Arms Production", France and Italy also "confirm their Will to strengthen their cooperation" f.ex. by the "creation of (more) Joint Industrial Clusters", such as "the EuroTorp company on Torpedos" and a joint project for Heavy Torpedosyh, "Horizon SAS in the Navy", "EuroSysnav and Electronicca for Defence Electronics, or MBDA on Missiles", a "Joint Project for the Future Generation of refueling oil Tankers supporting the Navy", etc.
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Fratini to "EuroFora" : Developments on Space High-Tech in view..
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    On the key sector of SPACE High-Tech, the experienced former EU Commission's vice-President, and current Foreign Minister of Italy, Franco Fratini, speaking to "EuroFora", observed that "yes, there will be important developments, even if they will not be signed now (i.e. at the April 9, Paris' Summit), but in the near Future", as he revealed.

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    Fratini's reply to"EuroFora"s question apparently pointed at issues such as, f.ex., the notification of Contracts for the procurement of Telecom Satellites "Sicral 2", before the 'end of April'.  This is added to the recent "Athena-Fidus" Franco-Italian Contracts, and other "manifold realisations" on the Franco-Italian cooperation, as, f.ex. the "Space Alliance between THALES and FINMECCANICA", the Joint Exploitation of Earth Observation facilities, with "exchanges of images" in the framework of EU project MUSIS, where Italy provides Radar, and France Optical data, etc.   

 Meanwhile, Sarkozy is due to meet this week-end Professor Jean-Lou Chameau, Head of  California's private Institute of Technology, the prestigious "CalTech", (No 6 Worldwide according to Shangai's ranking system)  which is hosting also NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (the famous JPL), recently hardly hit by heavy Budget Cuts in NASA's Space Exploration and research to invent innovative Propulsion methodss, needed for New ReUsable Space Vehicles, well beyond the Shuttle, whose decomissioning is notoriously close. (See "EuroFora"'s NewsReports from Strasbourg's International Space University's Annual 2010 Conference's debates on the controversial 2011 Obama's draft NASA Budget reductions and/or changes, published on Feb. 2010).


    While Europe's Paris-based ESA's political leadership is notoriously searching for years (at least since the 2005 Berlin Summit) to find a reliable International cooperation on how to invent new reusable Space vehicles, (refused in the Past by the USA, while Russia's offer to cooperate had been droped by the mere lack of  only .. one vote, as ESA's well informed sources have said to "EuroFora"), recent Budget Cuts, obviousy aggravated by the 2008-2009 Financial Crisis, might also have a .. positive consequence, if those concerned really feel that "these are Good Times to Cooperate", as "EuroFora"'s questions at ISU's 2010 Symposium have recently suggested... (See February 2010 NewsReports from the International event).
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    + Moreover, in a hardly veiled, implicit but obvious call to Turkey, the Franco-Italian leaders practically backed EU Parliament's explicit call to Ankara to stop blocking full EU - NATO Cooperation, ('from Kosovo up to Aghanistan', as Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt earlier observed in reply to an "EuroFora" founders'  question (See 2008 Publication on Bildt as rotating CoE Chairman in office at TCWeekly) :  - '

    On "Desarmament", the Franco - Italian leadership underlined their "Serious Concern on the issue of  Iran's Nuclear program, and stressed the importance for an immediate and full respect by Iran of its International Obligations'", as they said in Paris the same week that Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan notoriously refused any threat of Sanction vis a vis "my dear Friend Ahmadinejad",a he called the controversial president of Iran, and obviously banalized Nuclear Weapons' Proliferation in the area by implicitly but surely accusing Israel to already have Nuclear Bombs, "without anyone making a fuss about it"...

    Added to NATO's 6Oth Anniversary Summit's 2 Days-long Blockade by Turkey's controversial demands vis a vis its New Secretary General, former Danish Prime Minister Anders Rasmussen, (See "EuroFora"s NewsReports from the landmark event, which marked also new USA President Barack Obama's 1st visit to Europe), all this makes at least ..three (3) Turkish Blockades of Euro-American Cooperation on serious issues, in a row...

    If EU takes also into account notoriously Massive (in)"Human Trafficking" by illegal immigrants dumped from the Turkish Borders within  the EU, either by unscrupulous negilgence, or because some inside Turkish Authorities  probably close their eyes and forget their obligations, (with the result to start finding Turkey-originated illegal immigrants infiltrating the EU up to .; Belgium, the Netherlands, or even in the UK, which are hindered to expulse them because of European Court Human Rights' finding that by sending People back f.ex. to ill-equiped and submerged Greece, it might tantamount to "ill-treatment", since, at any case, it's difficult to bring them back to Turkey, because they risk to ne exposed even to Torture or other Inhuman and Degrading Treatments, (as many recent ECHR Decisions communicated to CoE's Committee of Ministers on March 2010 in Strasbourg, reveal.
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3) Economy (€ + Climate Contribution at EU Borders): No Unfair Competition

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EU and Global Economy was the 3rd big point at the 2010 Franco-Italan Summit, only a few Months before France takes over the G 8 and G 20 Chairmanship :

    - "Italy must get involved, in order to bring the strength which represents the 3rd Economy of Europe", stressed from the outset Sarkozy, while Berlusconi said that "inside an EU where our Economies represent almost 40% of EU's GDP, working together is something necessary and positve".

    Therefore, "we want to work together .. on very Important Issues", as "on the regulation of Raw Materials' Prices, (not only Agricultural : All Raw Materials"), "on the developments of EU's Competition system", etc. including during the forthcoming, 2010's Autumn Chairmanship of the G8 and G 20. And "we ask to support the interests of (EU's) Common Agricultural Policy, which is an element of Power : ... We can't impose to our Agricultural productors Rules of Food Security and transparency, which are not respected anywhere else in the World, and continue to Import Products which don't respect the (Environmental) Rules", Sarkozy stressed.

    -"We shall make Proposals" also "on the Financial "Contribution at EU's Borders for the Climate" protection, the French President anounced. - "Italy and France refuse a kind of Naïvety : We demand to study the Climate Contribution at EU's Borders in order to protect our Industries".  
    
    - "Indeed, .. we confirmed our wish to work together for a Europe which protects its Citizens :.. Its Enterprises and the interests of each one of its Citizens", agreed Berlusconi, anouncing also the "signature of some 20 agreements".

    - "That's precisely the Vision we have for Europe", replied also Sarkozy o a Journalist's question. "Europe is made in order to protect, but this doesn't mean .. protectionism". "However, if sometimes Europe is misunderstood by Europeans themselves, it's because they feel that all other Regions in the World are protecting themselves, while Europe should not over-protect". In fact, "Europe must Invest in Innovation, and, at the same time, ask for Fair Competition and refuse Unfair Competition", he stressed.

    - When "the US President (Obama) defends the interests of the American Economy",  "it's perfectly normal", and "nobody makes hip a reproach for that", Sarkozy observed, after his return from the USA, where both EU leaders were due to go again next Monday. - "We shall go to Shangai's International Exhibition, in China, to India, etc. in Asia. Everybody understands that the role of a Government is to protect its fellow Citizens without being accused of Protectionism. Europe stands for Market Economy, for the Liberty of Trade, but cannot be Naive". On the contrary, "we want a Europe which doesn't hesitate when it comes to defend its Values and Beliefs", Sarkozy concluded.

     - "Protectionism would be the Worst of all, but  Unfair Competition and Naivety would lead to Europe's Destruction !", he warned,

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DEBT : Greece  and EuroZone

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 Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi also anounced that they "spoke also about the (Financial) support to Greece. We perfectly agree that Greece belongs to the EuroZone, and that it's important, therefore, for us to give all our help. And we are "interested to give our support, because, otherwise, we shall have negative effects on our Currency and on our Economy".       

 - "Greek Authorities took courageous measures in order to redress the situation of their Public Finances. A support Plan was aproved by all EuroZone's States. We are Ready to activate it at any moment to help Greece. It's up to Greece and to EuroZone's member states, on ECB's Recommendation, to decide if the conditions are met to fully activate that", added Sarkozy.

    - "Every time Europe faced a Crisis, the Financial Crisis with the Plan on Banks, the Hungarian Crisis, the Latvia's Crisis, etc., Europe knew how to react on time. Nobody should doubt that it will do the same concerning Greece", he concluded, (receiving Berlusconi's "full agreement").

    As for Italy itself, "we inherited from previous Governments a heavy Debt : There was an Historic compromise between the Socialist party, the Christian Democrats and he Communist party, who succeeded .. "Négative Miracles" to multiply by 8 the public Debt from 1950 up to 1982. But, despite that, we succeeded to have (now) Good Accounts : We had some new emissions of public Debt and normaly the Market's demand represents 2 or 3 times the amount of the emission. This is a proof of the trust that Citizens have to our Government and State". "As for our action during the (Global) Crisis, we supported the Businesses. We reduced Taxes. We extended State's aid to all persons who lost their job, and we augmented Minimal Retirement schemas to Millions of Citizens. ... Now "we are going to work already for the 3 next Years in front of us : We have a really important and concrete task to accomplish, and we have a Country which behaved well in front of the (Global) Crisis",  the Italian Prime Minister observed.

    I. e. on Greece, to put it in a nutshell, Sarkozy and Berlusconi are ready to use the EuroZone support mechanism, against speculation trying to exploit the .. "Negative Miracle" of Debt's Multiplication during the 1980ies, as the Italian PM reminded, pointing at an astonishingly similar scenario with Greece, whose previous PASOK Governments had accumulated an exceptionaly big and long debt since the 1980ies, that subsequent ND (ChristianDemocrats/EPP) Government's efforts didn't succeed to eradicate completely, unlike Italy's case, as current OECD comparative Data reveal.

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Among all OECD member countries data unveiled by the Paris-based International Ecconomic Organization, (which stays mute on Turkey, on the contrary), only Germany once had such an exceptionaly big Debt in the Past, but, unlike PASOK past Governments in Greece, Kohl's German Govenent's exceptional 1996 deficit it was in fact an "investment" for the future : Shortly afterwards, Germany's Finances marked a positive Record Peak high, according to OECD's data, while, on the contrary, in Greece's PASOK past Governments the huge bulk of cushy job holders after massive recruitment in the 1980ies, are still there, notoriously continuing to overburden Greece's Public Debt..  

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Unless EU Parliament's forcthcoming Hearings, joined to some EU Governments" critical moves, succeed to start Investigations on what really happened during the 1980ies and particulalry on 1998-2001, find and punish those responsible for such periods known for ambiant nepotism, several wrong doings, (including a ;; vis a vis Turkey'(s controversial EU bd) which became unpopular.

Because, obviously such moves could create much needed trust also on Markets that no such false impressiions and manipulations could happen again anew, rei,nforcing People's trust on EuroZone's fiability and real strength.

The fact EU Parliament's Economic Committee officialy decided to invite to Next Week's Hearing on what really happened in Greece, and how to ensure that this will never again be repated anywhere in the Future, has invited also a representative of ''Goldman Sachs', the Financial Agency which had reportedly helped a former PASOK ("Socialist") Government in Greece to present a better Economic outlook than its real situation on 1999-2001, is naturaly positive. (See also relevant "EuroFora"'s earlier NewsReports).

But, mainstream ChristianDemocrat/EPP French MEP Jean-Paul Gauzes, speaking earlier to "EuroFora", cited the case of a former EuroStat Expert who reportedly got later a job in the Private Sector overseas, after the 1999-2001 False Statistics Scandal, and said that, "if a representative of the current ("PaSOK'") Government in Greece is invited, then", he "intend(s) to ask also for the current Opposition; i.e. for a representative of the Former Greek Governmenrts" of New Democracy (ChristianDemocrats/EPP) "to be present at the Hearing".

However, informed EU Parliament's sources told today "EuroFora" that "there is no scheduled last-minute Change" to the list of Experts Invited to next week's Hearing on Greece, which includes from Greece only "a representative of the National Office for Statistics".

- "I don't like Secret Party-Deals behind closed doors !", earlier said to "EuroFora" EU Parliament's Economic Committee's Chairwoman, Sharon Bowles, Liberal Brittish MEP from South-Eastern England, who knows well, as she told us, the Kent Broadstairs-Margate Seaside area where used to guide his Ship the Historic former Prime Minister Howard Heath, the pro-European Conservative Politician who brought the UK into the EU...

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    The incoming Swedish EU Presidency (July-December 2009) may still remain in favour of Turkey's controversial EU bid, despite June 2009 EU Elections' results, but it has "very strong demands on Turkey"'s obligation to respect EU Rules, said the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, to "EuroFora", reacting to critical Press reports.

    - "I know (that) the link is often made also to Sweden's position on Turkey"'s controversial EU bid. Indeed, "we (Swedish EU Presidency) are very much engaged in the future membership of Turkey, but not without fullfiling all the Criteria".

    - "It's very clear that we (Swedish EU Presidecny) have very Strong Demands on Turkey, in a sort of concept for Future membership of the Union, ...which will be a Long Process...", she stressed.

    This means, in particular, "the Copenhagen Criteria (on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law), and also the adaptation to the Acquis of the European Union".

     - "If you listen to what Mr. Bildt (the Swedish Foreign Minister) says on Turkey at different occasions, it's very clear : We want Turkey to become part of the Union, in the Future. But we want it to fullfil all the Criteria : The Acquis of the European Union. That's very clear", she concluded.

    The Senior Official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry was reacting to critical Press Reports, from Brussels' Journalists invited by EU Commission's secretariat to Stockholm, who claimed that Bildt was abusing of a ..."Whip" (sic !) against Cyprus, by "threatening" the presence of UNO's Peace-keeping force at the "Green line" which separates the island's Government-controlled areas from the territories occupied by Ankara's army, if Nicosia didn't accept any political solution, regardless of Turkey's demands, before the end of 2009.

        Governing AKEL Party's new Secretary General, Andros Kyprianou, reacted by declaring that no-one can threat the People of Cyprus : -"We shall decide for our Future, and nobody else",  he reportedly said, asking to "keep calm". "In order to find a Solution soon, certain basic Principles must be respected", he stressed, calling those who feel an urgency to use their influence on Turkey. Other Political Parties were more critical.

    This was a reference to recently reported statements by Turkish Minister Bagis, Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Turkey's National Security Council (a Military-Political body), accused to push towards a partitionist "2 States" solution, contrary to UNO SC Resolutions for Cyprus' reunification.

    December 2009 is a crucial moment for EU's appraisal of Turkey's controversial EU bid, because EU Council has decided to review then Ankara's compliance with the European position on the recognition of Cyprus' Government, which was clearly set out by an EU reply of 21 September 2005 to Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan's claims, refusing to recognize even the existence of EU Member Cyprus, in controversial statements he made to London (former EU chair) on July 29, 2005.

    EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, adopted on March 2009 in Strasbourg, warned Ankara that "the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments... by December 2009, may further seriously affect the process of Negotiations" with the EU.

    In practice, the issue boils down to Ankara's "embargo" against Ships and Airplanes using Cyprus' seaports or airports at the strategic EU island, which traditionaly hosts one of the World's biggest Shipping flags. EU has already "freezed" 6 relevant Chapters in EU - Turkey Negotiations since December 2006, after Ankara refused to fullfil a commitment it had undertaken when EU had decided to open controversial "accession" negotiations with Turkey, back on December 2005.

    - "As far as EU - Turkey relations are concerned, it's clear that Turkey needs to fullfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the additional Protocol (to "EC-Turkey Association Agreement"),  This is an important issue....and should be addresseed as soon as possible as it clearly affects the pace of the accession negotiations.Issues covered by the Declaration of September 2005 will continue to be followed up, and progress is urgently awaited", warned earlier in Strasbourg the out-going Czech EU Presidency (former vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra).

    But the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, dismissed "interpretations" by "some" that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was reportedly "threatening" Cyprus with consequences on the UNFICYP, if it doesn't accept any solution until December 2009, while Turkey is reportedly delaying in an attempt to impose a partitionist "2 States" solution.

    On the contrary, Julin, stressed that "Sweden has strong demands on Turkey'"s respect of "Copenhagen Criteria and EU Acquis".

    Meanwhile, Sweden  is "concerned" about the risk of "Stalemate" in Cyprus' Talks, but is well aware that "the main responsibilities lie with the two leaders and the UNO", Europe playing only a role of "facilitator".

    After carefully verifying, the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, stressed to "EuroFora" that Bildt's reference to UNFICYP "was not linked to a Threat", and dismissed those who "interpreted" it so.

    On the contrary, the Swedish EU Presidency acknowledged the fact that Peace Talks are mainly for the UN and the leaders of the Cypriot communities, EU's role being limited into that of a "facilitator".

    As for Turkey's reported attempts to impose a "2 States' solution", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service sharply replied by stressing that Turkey must respect the "EU Acquis" rules.

    In particular :

    - "Basically he (Bildt) underlined that it's the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN that have the main responsibilities for solving the problem", started to say the Swedish Senior Official to "EuroFora", referring to the above-mentioned "briefing".

    - "But the EU had a role in sort of pointing out the benefits and facilitating a little bit the outcome for the settlement of the whole Cyprus' issue", she added.

    - "And he did state the Fact, that the rest of the World (i.e. USA, etc) will, of course, look at the differend issues which are at the table, and the future of the UN Peace keeping force is part of what is at the table", she admitted.

    - "I understand that some have interpreted that as a Threat, by the Swedish Minister" "But", in reality, "it's a statement of a Fact, that, when we'll look at the differend issues, one of the issues on which we shall have to take a stand on, is the future of the UN Peace keeping force in Cyprus".

    Indeed, one of the questions usually raised for a Solution of Cyprus' issue is what International and/or European or other Guarantees, by a Peace-keeping force, might be needed afterwards, eventually for a transitory period.

    Questioned anew by "EuroFora" whether (according to critical Press Reports) this could be taken as a veiled warning that, if Cyprus didn't accept any Turkish demand for any solution whatever, it might be left alone to face Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation, she denied :

    - "He (Bildt) didn't say it in that way"... "It was not linked to a threat, or anything like that", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service stressed.

    On the contrary, "he (Bildt) underlined that the main responsibility lies with the parties concerned on the island". "The EU can try to facilitate and show the benefits of reaching a settlement. But also, when the EU and the rest of the World (i.e. USA) will have to look at it, they will look at all the Facts on the table, and the presence of the UN Peace-keeping force is one".

    And "he (Bildt) didn't speak about that at all", she replied to "EuroFora" question on Turkey's reported attemps to impose, in one way of another, a partitionist "2 States solution".

    Asked whether Bildt's aim was to incite both parties to move forward efficiently, she agreed :

    - In fact, "the EU is really very concerned with the Stalemate in the situation. Yes !", the Head of Sweden's Foreign Ministry's Press Service anounced. That's why Bildt "was hoping for the two parties (i.e. for Turkey's also) to engage and break, a little-bit, the present stalemate, come to a solution of the issue" of Cyprus.

    But, replying  to a "EuroFora"s question on the risk, denounced by several politicians in case of strict Time Deadlines, for Turkey to provoke a stalemate and wait for the time to come to impose a partitionist "2 States' solution", she reacted by pointing at Turkey's obligation to respect "EU Acquis" :

    - "Turkey must fullfil the EU Acquis : That's clear !", the Swedish Senior Official stressed.

    More details are expected when Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt will debate his Programme with new MEPs at EU Parliament's plenary mid-July in Strasbourg, that he has visited already in 2008.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt became familiar with Strasbourg's CoE last year, when Sweden chaired the PanEuropean organization of Human Rights. As EU chairman-in-office, he will also chair the 27-member States strong EU Group inside the 47-member States strong CoE.

    Minister for EU affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom is well known at EU Parliament, where she has been an active MEP of the Liberal Group for many years, following also Press Freedom issues.

    Both have already made various statements at "EuroFora", on differend topical matters.

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2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?

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