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Home arrow newsitems arrow CLRAE Chief Knape to EF: Cyprus President Anastasiades offer to DeCentralise for Peace =Interesting

CLRAE Chief Knape to EF: Cyprus President Anastasiades offer to DeCentralise for Peace =Interesting

Written by ACM
Thursday, 08 November 2018
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Speaking at the eve of the International Forum for Peace in Paris, with 80 Heads of State/Government and UNO's Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, the New President of CoE's PanEuropean watchdog for Local and Regional Democracy (CLRAE), experienced Swedish ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Anders Knape, gave a Positive Reply to "Eurofora"s Question on Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades' proposal to Facilitate and Supplement the efforts for a Peaceful ReUnification of the island via an agreed Solution of the Political Problem, by adding also a large Decentralisation :


- Indeed, Knape clearly told us that he found that Latest move, (made Earlier this same week), to be "Interesting", and did not exclude that CLRAE might also Examine and Discuss that, in the foreseable Future.

 

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+ The New President of CoE's Congress of Local and Regional Authorities (CLRAE) also told "Eurofora" that his officialy proclaimed Aim for the CLRAE to become a frequent and Direct Interlocutor of National Authorities and Governments, (enshrined in a Report on the "Consultation of Local Authorities by Higher Levels of Government", just Discussed and Adopted by the PanEuropean body's Plenary, earlier Today, during its Autumn 2018 Session in Strasbourg, 6-8 November 2018), would include Both the implementation of CoE's PanEuropean Texts for Local/Regional Self Government, and "various Other relevant Topical Issues", depending on the Specific situation and stakes in "Each Country".

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- CRLAE "is a Political body tasked with protecting local Democracy", and "an Important part of the COE and of the System of safeguarding Democracy in Europe". "That's why .... we must ...engage in regular Dialogue with Governments", stressed, earlier, in his Speech on his Election for the Next 2 Years (2019-2020), Anders Knape, who has already replied also to Various other "Eurofora" Questions on Topical PanEuropean Issues, (including, f.ex., the Fights against Radicalized Islamization, Ghettos, etc, but for Integration, and/or against the Economic Crisis, but for Jobs-creating Investment  : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coelocalautonomychiefknapeonterror.html , http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/clrae.html , etc).

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Anastasiades, at an exceptionaly Long Press Conference, earlier this Week in Nicosia, (which Coincided with the Beginning of CLRAE's Plenary in Strasbourg, on November 6), presented his idea to Add DeCentralisation to the Federal Structure of a State for a United Cyprus, in order to Prevent Problems from systematic Vetoes ("1 Positive Vote") by a Minority, (as had Asked Turkish Cypriot leaders, even whenever Decisions concerning Simply "EveryDay Life" will be taken by the Federation), which may Risk to provoke an Institutional Deadlock and Break Down, as in the Past. (Something that UNO's SG Guterres seems to have realized, when he urged for a "Normal State" in Cyprus, able to Work Efficiently). Only Issues where Core Interests of the Turkish Cypriot Community are at stake, might, eventually, be submitted to such a procedure, on Condition to set up an Efficient Mechanism for Resolution of such Problems, as also UNO implies. For the Rest, whenever possible, (i.e. for EveryDay Issues which are not Vital for the Federation as a whole : i.e. Security/Defense, Diplomacy, Natural Resources, Citizenship, etc), a Normal Local/Regional DeCentralisation can allow an eventual Diversity, here or there, without risking to jeopardise the overall functioning of a Federal State.


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Knape, a ChristianDemocrat/EPP, is member of the Biggest Political Party in Sweden currently, that of "Moderates", headed by Ulf Kristersson, who has just Won the Latest, September 2018 Elections, holding a Mandate to seek how to form a New Government Coalition, after an Historic Fall of the "Socialists", and, particularly, whether he'd manage to agree, or not, for a Unity of the Right, going from Liberals up to "Swedish Democrats" (Rightists : who won the most, in percentage, on 2018), to whom, the Swedish People's Votes gave an absolute Majority.


I.e. whether Sweden will follow the Example of its Neighbor : Norway, (where a Traditional Center-Right, EPP Party joined a new, Rightist Party, in a Coalition Government, headed by Ema Solberg : "the Best Prime Minister in the World" for German Chancellor Angie Merkel), and Austria (the current EU President), after Bulgaria (the former EU President), or a Different Formula, among Various kinds of Unity of the Right also in Denmark, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Finland, (incoming President of the PanEuropean CoE, for November 2018 - May 2019), etc.


Indeed, by a Coincidence, the move took place while CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland, (a Norwegian), was meeting the Foreign Minister of Finland, Timo Soisi, former Long-Time Head of such a Rightist Party, and recently of a New Rightist Party, at Helsinki, (where was also going on, currently, on 7-8 November 2018, the ChristianDemocrats/EPP's Summit for the Election of their Leader to May 2019 EU Parliament's Elections, and Top Candidate for EU Commission's new President for 2019-2024).


"Eurofora" saw that Knape was in a hurry to leave Strasbourg at Mid-Day, by Flying towards Scandinavia, where several EPP Heads of State/Government, including Cyprus' President Anastasiades, still remained, before travelling to Paris overnight or next morning.


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+ At any case, concerning another Topical Big Issue, the New President of the CLRAE, who holds a particularly Extensive and intensive Experience also as co-Rapporteur on Local/Regional Democracy in Turkey, as Long as "since 1999", and already faced personaly "Pressure" from Turkish Government, (as he has reminded recently), replying also to another "Eurofora"s Question, ensured that he will  keep a Careful eye on that Serious Issue inside the CLRAE, (whose Elementary Values and Principles are obviously at Stake there).


Several CLRAE's Resolutions on the Situation of Local/Regional Democracy in Turkey, have clearly Denounced Ankara's Government, inter alia, also for an "UnParalleled" Oppression, which has practically "Suspended Democracy", or even exerted a "disproportionately DESTRUCTIVE effect on... Democracy", particularly in South-Eastern, mainly Kurdish, Regions, throwing Turkey "Back to the 1990ies", (i.e. when EU had Refused any controversial and Unpopular Turkey's EU bid, and had "Freezed" all EU Funds to Ankara), as Knape himself had pointed then out. (See, inter alia, also, f.ex.: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/turkeylocaldemocracysuspended.html, http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coepressuredbyturkeyonpersecutedmayors.html, http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/clraeslamsturkeyforjailedmayorsunmonitoredelections.html, http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coeasksturkeyfordemoraticalternativetokurdscondemnsviolence.html, http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/kurdsandcyprus.html, etc).


++ Meanwhile, in Parallel, the Other Co-Rapporteur on Turkey, experienced Dutch MEP Leendert Verbeek, (an atypical Social-Democrat), has just been  re-Elected as Chairman of CLRAE's "Monitoring" Committee, entrusted with the Key role of Checking the real Situation of Local/Regional Democracy in all CoE's Member Countries, "Eurofora" learnt during this Autumn 2018 Session.

 

(../..)

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("DraftNews", as already sendd, Earlier, to "Eurofora"s Subscribers/Donors. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be Published asap).

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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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