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Home arrow newsitems arrow Top Conservative UK MEP Tannock to EF: Questions raised on British Bases in Cyprus after BREXIT

Top Conservative UK MEP Tannock to EF: Questions raised on British Bases in Cyprus after BREXIT

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 15 November 2017

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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/-
One of EU Parliament's most Experienced Members, from UK's Governing Party of Prime Minister Theresa May, and former Long-Time Foreign Policy spokesman of its Biggest Group : that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, currently in the Conservative Group, Charles Tannock, who is also EU Rapporteur on relations with New Zealand, due to be Debated and Voted on Thursday, (etc), Speaking to "Eurofora", observed that "BREXIT" raises Delicate Questions on the British Bases located in Cyprus :


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 - "Well, the Problem with Cyprus, probably, is going to be a Different one" compared to the usual BREXIT general debates, he warned from the outset.


 - "It's going to be the (2) Sovereign (UK) Bases" there, "and the (EU) Customs Union", Tannock pointed out.


- "There May be a Problem", in this regard.


- "Because they (UK Bases in Cyprus) are in the Customs Union, and they May have to Leave the Customs Union".


=>-  "And, then, it has to be a kind of Border", f.ex. "for the Trade of Goods", "including some Agricultural" fields, etc. I.e., "they will have to be in Line with Northern Ireland'"s case, he found.


 - But, curiously, until now, "Nobody Speaks about this", Tannock regretted.   


- However, just "Look at the Facts : The Bases joined the (EU) Customs Union, when Cyprus became EU Member" on 2004, (and Not when the UK itself joined the EU, Back during the 1970ies), he reminded.


  - So that, "If we (UK) Leave" the EU, then "they will have to" opt about leaving (or staying) in  the Custom Union, ...

- "If they Stay in the Customs Union, - and then it goes into British Territory, like Northern Ireland  - they have to use the Same Currency". Since "It's in the (1960) Treaty (on Cyprus' Independence) : They have to use the Same Currency", he pointed out.


- "But, this is a Serious Issue, Legally", the UK Conservative MEP stressed.


=> - Because, "if the Sovereign (UK) Bases" in Cyprus "Stay in the EU's Customs Union of the EU, as British Territory, then, you have No Argument to say that Northern Ireland cannot do the same !", he Speculated, despite the Differences.


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+ Nevertheless, EU Chief Negotiator on BREXIT, former EU Commissioner and French Minister, Michel Barnier, had recently given an a priori Positive sign to "Eurofora", as far as the overal UK - Cyprus' Negotiations on BREXIT Issues specific to the Island were concerned, on the sidelines of the Latest EU Heads of State/Government's Summit, 20 October 2017 in Brussels, by simply Smiling and making a "Thumbs-Up" gesture, as a Fast-track but Characteristic Reply to our Question about -"How are the BREXIT Negotiations going in relation with Cyprus ?", in general.


It's true, however, that we had not then even mentioned, particularly, the special case of those UK Bases per se.


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++ Meanwhile, Tannock also Confirmed his Belief that, indeed, "the UK will Leave the EU on March 29", 2019, as scheduled, independently of anything else.


- There is No Chance to Stay in the EU : To be precise, the Probabilty is "Less than 5%", the Experienced, mainstream British MEP estimated, in Reply to a relevant "Eurofora"s Question.


 + In a rare Agreement, between Different Political Orientations, Conservative MEP Tannock's estimation matched also that  of "Green" (former "Labour") British MEP Jean Lambert :

 

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- Speaking to "Eurofora", Later-on, the Pro-"Remain" MEP Lambert acknowledged : - "I Regret that, but I Agree" (with Tannock) :


- Indeed, "he's Right : There are No more than Only 5% of Chances for the UK to Stay inside the EU" after March 2019, she bitterly admitted.

 

 

(../...)

 

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Former "Green-Red" German government's Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's job at the controversial Turkish pipeline "Nabucco" was denounced as "not proper", "very bad", and "incompatible with Democracy", by the new President of EU Parliament's EuroLeft Group, German Lothar Bisky, replying to an "EuroFora" question.

For once, criticism of Joschka Fischer's doings with Turkey affecting Europe, didn't come only from the Center-Right of the political spectrum, but even from his Left side : The experienced Bisky, who has been chairing all over 1993-2009 the PDS - Die Linke party :  

- "Former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer got involved in dealings with oil-gaz business in a foreign country, Turkey, and its controversial Nabucco pipeline. This raises questions about Democracy, also because of the well known problems of Human Rights violations in that country. Do you thing that this might be abused in order to cover up and close EU's eyes on Human Rights violations ?", "EuroFora" asked Bisky.

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- "Nabucco pipeline is (only) at the planning stage". And "there are some difficulties",  he observed from the start. But "'I don't want to get into the details of Nabucco pipeline, because I don't think that there is any point for it at the moment".
 
At any case,  "we  (EU Parliament's EuroLeft Group) strongly believe that Politicians should not get involved in the Energy Business, and all these commercial transactions", President Bisky declared on the Joschka Fiischer's affair.

- "We feel that it's something that shouldn't be done. It's not proper !"           

- "We don't think that it's compatible with Democracy either, and it gets politics into a very Bad track", Bisky went on to denounce.
                                                                                                                                                                        
- "EuroLeft  and "Die Linke" always spoke against that, saying that politicians should not get directly into the arms of private enterprises"

- "It is pretty bad if a former Minister takes a job f.ex. in a major Energy producer. So, it's an issue if a Minister who may have seen excellent opportunities, subsequently gets personally grasp of them, in very serious parts of the economy, once he has given up his (Government) job."

- "It doesn't really make politics in general look any better'", Bisky concluded.

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Earlier, this week in Strasbourg, other Journalists had also raised critical questions on former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's involvement in the conroversial Turkish Nabucco pipeline to the President of his own EuroParty : Kohn-Bendit of the "Greens", who, contrary to Bisky, tried to find excuses for Fischer, while criticizing his long-time partner, Schroeder for having done a similar move :

- "Shroeder was chancellor", and he "negociated" with "Russians", who gave him a job only "3 Months" after he resigned from the Government. While "Joschka Fischer", on the contrary, got a job with the controversial Turkish Nabucco pipeline only "4 Years after" he left the Government. "He didn't negociate Nabucco", so I have "no objection", Kohn Bendit claimed.

But, many Facts indicate the contrary :

Joschka Fischer was Foreign Minister in Germany from 1999 up to 2005 : I.e. from the year that EU took the controversial decision to give Turkey a "Candidate" status, until he year it started controversial "accession negotiations, (later declared "open-ended" after Sarkozy-Merkel's arrival from 2005-2007).

During that period was prepared the controversial so-called "Annan" Plan (in fact, drafted by others and attributed afterwards to the former UN SG) on Cyprus, which failed after a Popular Referendum said "No" on 2004 with a large Majoriy of 3/4 : 75%. Mainly because it was criticized for making too much concessions to the Turkish side :  Particularly by restricting Greek Cypriot Refugees' Human Right to return to their ancestral Land and/or get restitution of their Familiy Homes and private properties, usurpated by Ankara's Army since the 1974 militay invasion and continuing occupation of the northern part of Cyprus. And by weakening the Central Government, leaving to 2 "constituent States" so much powers and separate interests that more conflicts appeared inevitable, provoking the danger of a break-down in the foreseable future, with more crisis, troubles, perhaps bloodshed, etc., instead of creating an harmoniously integrated, really one federal State.

The controversial Plan was finalized on March-April 2004 at Burgenstock (Switzerland), curiously in the presence of an Envoy by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany, then governed by Joschka Fischer, but in the absence of a French and not even an European Union's Envoy, contrary to what was usually practiced on similar occasions in Switzerland (fex. in 1997 at Montreux, in 2000 at Geneva, etc).

Turkey notoriously exploited the failure of the "Annan" Plan in order to convince the EU to decide to start accession Negotiations on December 2004. This provoked an unprecedented series of Institutional Crisis inside the EU, shortly afterwards, when French and Dutch People rejected, 2 popular EuroReferenda by a majority "'No" vote to the EU Constitutional Treaty on 2005, aggraveted in 2004 a Majority Abstention to EU Elections, etc., followed by the recent Irish "No", etc.

"Nabucco" Gas pipeline was notoriously planned since ..2002. It follows an even earlier idea, for an Oil pipeline Baku-Ceyhun, which started to be prepared on 1999-2001 and was meanwhile recently completed.  

So, facts indicate that what is now at stake is based on decisions made during Joschka Fischer's term as former Foreign Minister, closely interested in Turkey's controversial EU-bid.

To the point that he now practically ...switched jobs with a poliician from Turkey, (the State which pays today openly Joschka Fischer), Mr. Ozdemir, who came earlier in Germany, got fast the nationality, and became EiuroMP in a few years, continuing now as head of the "Greens" in Germany, i.e. in Joschka's former job !...

Such astonishing facts risk, unfotunately, to give to German politician Lothar Bisky's criticism of  representative Democracy a topical meaning :

 - "We (EuroLeft Group) think that what is really at stake is Democracy. It's not only about Gas Pipelines or Energy sources", President Lothar Bisky went on to add in his reply to "EuroFora"'s question on Joscka Fischer's personal interests in the controversial Turkish "Nabuco" pipeline.

Such facts, "make People get more distance from Politics. ...People had had enough, and they are fed up !".

- "That's why we (EuroParliament's "EuroLeft" Group) want to strengthen Direct Democracy in Europe. Citizens should be involved in the (EU) Decision-making. In the end of the day, it's not going to help anyone if Politicians are always taking decisions, without involving Citizens. We want to give a voice to the People of Europe. They've got to have their say in the decisions that are taken. That's one of our absolutely fixed and steadfast views. We want more Direct Democracy in Europe. That's how it can become more effective and stronger", he concluded.

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