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Home arrow newsitems arrow ECHR: Open Questions on f. leftist Cyprus Leader Christofias for seized Syria/Iran Arms' Explosion

ECHR: Open Questions on f. leftist Cyprus Leader Christofias for seized Syria/Iran Arms' Explosion

Parašė ACM
Thursday, July 13, 2017

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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/-  A 7 Members Section of the 47-Members Strong ECHR, ruling on a case of 13 Killed and 62 Wounded People, by a July 2011 Explosion of Ammunitions Seized from a Ship related to Syria and Iran because of Arms' Embargo, lodged by the Widow and 2 Orphan Kids of a killed Guard, Left many Questions still Open, about the Responsibility of former President of the Republic, and f. Long-Time Leader of Main Opposition Party AKEL (Leftist), Dimitris Christofias (DC).


An Independent Investigator, a Lawyer appointed by the Government of Cyprus, had Earlier Concluded that Christofias bears Main Responsibility for such a Deadly Incident:

cy_explosion_july_2011_eurofora_400


Indeed, his Official 600 pages-long Report found that "the Fate of the cargo had been Decided by the Executive, which, Headed by the President, had completely Failed to take the necessary Measures to handle the matter, including Keeping the cargo Safe in Cyprus. ... the President, over and Above his state office and his institutional capacity, ...had Undertaken to Deal with the dangerous cargo Himself, had had ultimate Control over it, and had been Responsible for taking important Decisions on the subject". This refers "not only to the President’s Statutory and ex officio Political Responsibility, but Also his Significant Personal Responsibility for the Tragic event and its Consequences".

Therefore, "the President bore the Greatest Responsibility for the Inadequacy, Negligence and Remissness that had been shown, and had Failed to take Care of, or at least take Basic Measures to ensure the Security of the Citizens ..., and in particular that of the Soldiers and Firemen" who were killed or wounded, ECHR's Judgement clearly notes from the outset.


+ Moreover, Both a Legal Complaint lodged to the Criminal Law System, (Attorney General and Criminal Courts), by a Head SchoolTeacher, God-Daughter of Historic 1st Cyprus' President Makarios, as well as a Collective Petition signed by many Thousands of Citizens, and a Long Series of UnPrecedented, large Mass Protest Demonstrations, regularly organized right in Front of Cyprus' Presidential Palace during Christofias' term of office, repeatedly Urged that All those Responsible for the Killings and the Destruction of the Country's Biggest Electricity Supply Installation, be throroughly Investigated, Charged and Prosecuted, without any exception, including, particularly, Christofias himself, for whom they all asked to Lift his presidential Immunity, (according to Article 45 of Cyprus' Constitution). Comp. "Eurofora"s NewsReport at: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/cypruspeopleaskchristofiastoresign.html .


[The Leftist, then Governing, Politician, initialy Ordered to Police and Security Forces to Brutaly Attack and Dissolve by a lot of Gas and violence, that UnPrecedented Popular Demonstration of Protest, and this was done, in a very Harsh way. But the Next Day, the Leader of the Main Opposition Party then ("Democratic Rally"): Nicos Anastassiades, a mainstream ChristianDemocrat/EPP Politician, (who is the Current President of Cyprus Today), Strongly Denounced such an Oppressive move by Christofias, and launched a Vibrant Call to Respect People's Democratic Right to Express their Views on Important Issues for the Society by Peaceful Public Gatherings. Such a Strong and Principled Reaction from Anastassiades, really Helped to Saveguard the People's Right to Demonstrate in front of the Presidential Palace, as they Regularly did, indeed, during a Long Period of Time, from now on, and Reinforced his Popularity, Contributing to his subsequent Win at the February 2013 Presidential Election, later-on, that he won on a Program including Many Legal, Political and Practical Reforms explicitly destinated to Ensure a more or less important "Accountability" of all State's Officers, vis a vis the Citizens, (including the President of the Republic himself), which was Promissed to Become a quite UnPrecedented Innovation in the History of Democratic Life.]


Meanwhile, the Chief of Cyprus' Naval Forces, Amiral Ioanides, was among the Numerous Victims of that ill-elucidated, Huge Explosion near the Florakis Naval Base - in honor of General Florakis, f. Chief of all Cyprus' National Guard, who had been killed at a strange Helicopter Fire/Crash on 2002, together with Senior Officer Demenagas, in charge of Greece and Cyprus' Joint Air Defense, by a coincidence, ...exactly the Same Day of 2002 that EU Parliament's Foreign/Defense policy Committee was Voting, in Brussels, Crucial Amendments on the 1st "European Sky" Draft Directive, including some which were Hotly Disputed by Turkey. By another incredible Coincidence, Both these 2 ill-elucidated Brutal Killings of Top Cyprus' Defense Leaders occured at a quite Similar Date : OverNight from 10 to11 July, (i.e. almost on the Anniversary of General Florakis/Demenagas Earlier Killings) !  


Amiral Ioanides' role would, naturaly, have been of paramount Importance also for the Defense of emerging New Energy Sources', Oil-Gas' Findings and Development activities in Cyprus' EEZ's Seabed, often Disputed by Turkey's interferences. Moreover, the adjacent New Big Electricity Factory, entirely Destroyed by that 2011 Explosion of Seized and Stocked Ammunitions (Comp. Supra), was absolutely Necessary for Cyprus' Energy Needs, and might, even, have been Used (with some Adaptations) in order to Transform Oil-Gas Findings into Electricity, easier to Transfer towards EU's mainland.


Ioanides' Young Son, at a very Emotional moment, spoke, later-on, to (and was largely Applauded by) many Thousands of Demonstrators regularly Gathered in front of Cyprus' Presidential Palace, asking Justice and particularly Christofias' prosecution (Comp. Supra).


Practicaly at the Eve of the Tragic Incident (Monday, 11 July), the former Cyprus' President was visiting Geneva, for UN-sponsored Talks on Cyprus' issue, in the presence of UNO's Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, (Thursday, 7 July), that "Eurofora" covered there,  (See our Press Publication at: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/bankimoononcyprus.html), where we were Surrprized by an Exceptionaly very ...Nervous Christofias, (for reasons that he did not reveal), including an Inexperienced Press Secretary (that Mainstream Newspaper of Main Opposition Party DS/ChristianDemocrats-EPP, of Nowadays Cyprus' President Anastassiades, soon Denounced, in 1st Page Headline News, as a new ..."GOEBBELS" of neo -NAZI inspiration, for his alleged Attempts to Oppress and Muzzle Dissident Journalists, whose Political Criticism he didn't like: See authentic Photo-Document).


"Eurofora"s co-Founder met former President Christofias at Various Occasions, during More than a Decade, between 2001 -2012, (f.ex. at the CoE or EU Parliament in Strasbourg, EU Council in Brussels, UNO Talks in Switzerland, Elysée Palace in Paris, etc), but Never Before - Neither Afterwards - we didn't found him so Upset as on 7 July 2011 in Geneva UN Talks, which was, obviously, an UnPrecedented, Exceptional and Unique moment, provoked by Unclear and Unknown yet Causes:


Was it, perhaps, because ECB's then President, Truchet from France, had reportedly Warned him about an imminent Excessive Debt, with Financial Risks, Urging to take some UnPopular but Necessary Measures, particularly against Clientelism, asap, (as Truchet Revealed Afterwards, at an EU Parliament's Hearing in Strasbourg), and/or because Something hadn't, perhaps, gone as well as he wanted at those 2011 Geneva UNO Talks, or, perhaps, also due to Strong Press Criticism against an UnPrecedented Brutal and Violent Oppression, even of Peaceful Popular Demonstrations in Greece, End of June 2011, by the Police at the orders of a discredited "Socialist" PASOK Government in Athens, (which practically ..."Disappeared" from the Mainstream Political spectrum, Later-on) ?  


It's True that Christofias, curiously, Postponed, Immediately Afterwards, a key National Council meeting, Together with all Other Political Parties' Leaders in Nicosia, (initialy Scheduled for Friday, July 8), where he should have Explained his stance at Geneva (Comp. Supra), Changing its Date for Monday, July 11 ... I.e. precisely the Date of that Murderous and Destructive Explosion (Comp. Sypra), which gave a Pretext to Again and again Postpone that RDV several Times in a Long Row, going into Deep Summertime ! So that, when, at last, a Moment Arrived, only Many Weeks Later, for a National Council on those Geneva July 7 UN Talks, then, All Politicians' and Medias' Attantion had been, meanwhile, Focused mainly on that Mysterious "Explosion" and its Consequences, so that almost Nobody paid, no more, sufficient Attention into Finding out what had really Happened back on July 7 in Geneva ...


Today (on 2017) it's for Historians to Find out the Truth of this UnPrecedented Enigma, concerning the Real Motivation of all those Strange and UnPrecedented, as well as Unique/Exceptional Christofias'  moves or spontaneous/provoked reactions, around that Special Geneva UN Talks of July 7, 2011,  practicaly at the Eve of the Deadly and Destructive Explosion of July 10 to 11 in Cyprus' Island's Southern Coasts (Comp. Supra).

>>> But, it's a  Fact that, Nonobstant all the Above-mentioned, convergent Critical moves, raising Key Questions on Christofias' own Responsibilities, (Comp. Supra), and the manifold Importance of the present Affair, (See also Infra), he was Neither Charged, Nor Prosecuted for that, at all, and the subsequent Judicial Enquiry did NOT Include his Wrongdoings.


All this happened During Christofias' ending Term of Office, (until late 2012), Before a New President (issued from the Former Opposition: the Current President Nicos Anastassiades) was afterwards Elected by Cyprus' People at the Beginning of 2013.

=> That's why the Widow and 2 Orphan Children of a Killed National Guard, Michael Heracleous, represented by Lawyer and former ECHR's Member (EuroJudge) Loukis Loucaides, lodged a formal Application to ECHR in Strasbourg, Denouncing an at least procedural Violation of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects Life. They also denounced a Violation of Article 13, which concerns the "Effectivity" of the protection of Human Rights.


-------------------


ECHR's well established Case Law has consistently affirmed that, as a matter of General Principle, in cases of Loss of Lives, Efficient and Transparent Investigations must be made in order to Find, Prosecute and Punish all those Responsible.

In this regard, Many Important Questions still Remain UnAnswered, even After the Ruling of an ECHR's Chamber published Today :

* 1) This Judgement does Not say whether Christofias was really Guilty, or Not :  This crucial Point of Substance still remains Open.
And underlining the Exceptionally Scandalous Gravity of this affair, ECHR compared this Christofias' affair with that of "Ümraniye" case : That of a Poor Family atrociously Killed at her Home by an Explosion of Shit and Waste at a District of Istanbul in Turkey, where unscrupulus Local Managers had let a Rubbish tip Dangerously Accumulate Near Poor People's Homes, "Exposing" them "to All kinds of Risks"....

* 2) Neither does ECHR say now How should have been Interpreted Cyprus' Constitution about Lifting the Immunity of DC, or not : This also Remains an Open, UnAnswered Question, (See f.ex., §37 of this Judgement, etc).

* 3). ECHR does Not even say, Today, whether a Sufficient and Transparent Investigation was ever Made, or Not, by the competent National Authorities, since it claims that these Appliquants, in this Concrete Application, would Not have Contested at all the Efficiency of the Official Investigationn (f.ex. § 36 - 38 of the Judgement Published now).

 

This seems, however, in Contradiction with ECHR Chamber's previous Observation that the Applicants had Complained that the Attorney General's "Duty to Effectively Investigate the Fatal Explosion that had led to their relatives' Death", "had Not been done" because of the Non-Prosecution of former President Christofias (§25, ibid).

+ Moreover, ECHR does Not also say whether the applied "Prosecutorial System" in Cyprus might have some Loopholes, or not, particularly concerning the fact that "it is the Attorney-General, ... who Decides whether there is enough Evidence to justify criminal Proceedings in respect of a particular person" (§ 36), Simply Because it Claims that "the applicants have Not Complained regarding Any “Institutional Deficiencies” in the criminal Justice or the prosecutorial System", as such.


So that, logically, this Question too, would Still remain Open.
This point is Important, Particularly when it concerns a Notoriously Controversial individual as Former Attonney General Petros Clerides, (Nothing to do with Long-Time President Glafcos Clerides, Neither with the New Attorney General, former Judge, Costas Clerides,  UnRelated) : i.e. the Only 1 in the History of Cyprus who was obliged to Resign (on 2013) after Strong and Wide public Criticism accusing him to have MisHandled several Big Cases.


F.ex., among others:


- He was Photographed provocatively Laughing inside Christofias' Palace and with his Cronies, just the Day After a Collective Petition, concerning that Deadly Explosion,signed by many Thousands of Cyprus' People, and even a Legal Complaint lodged by a Head Teacher, God-Daughter of Historic 1st Cyprus' President Makarios, both Asking for Christofias' Prosecution, (Comp. Supra), had been officialy Presented to his Office, where arrived also a Damning Report by an Independent Investigator appointed by the Government, (See, attached Herewith, that Photo, which, obviously, does Not give a good Impression of Impartiality to the People)...


- P.C. was largely Criticized for the way he mishandled not only that Deadly Explosion affair of July 2011, but also that of the Most Deadly Airplane Crash in Cyprus' History: that of "Helios" Company, nearTurkey's Bordersn back on August 2005; as well as for Dragging his feet in the Investigation of the Brutal Killing of a Young Russian Girl, shortly after Refusing to be Exploited as a Prostitute by her Boss, (the famous "Rantsev" case, Cited by Today's Judgement, where ECHR has Condemned in 2010, precisely, the Lack of any Effective Investigation :

An UnForgetable case, particularly after the Emotional Calls for Help by the Aged Father of the Victim, including in a Press Conference at the CoE in Strasbourg, in Letters addressed to "Eurofora", etc., vainly Seeking Truth and Justice on his Daughter's Brutal and Unelucidated Death) ; but also in the case of Poor Ukranian Sailors, scandalously Abandoned alone and Unpaid by their Boss, at a Cyprus' Seaport, where they Risked to Starve and were even reportedly Ill-Treated by some Policemen, (withOut Petros Clerides making any Prosecution against the Culprit); and even in a Case of Journalist's Freedom, lodged with a Written Complaint by a Lawyer, Wife of a Victim, back on 2008, (to which P.C. did Not even Dare Reply by Writting, but Only Phoned for a Brief Oral Contact, in which, when he found himself Unable to Reply to the Legal, Political and Human Arguments presented, he merely ... Closed Brutaly his Phone, withOut Giving the Slightest Answer, as "Eurofora" heard - Tape Recording available); etc. Finaly, Mr. P.C. was notoriously found, once again, Personaly Mixed in a Scandal where he Droped any Sanction on a Car Driver found dangerously Drunk and Evading Taxes, who was ...his own Son !

+ Moreover, even the System itself, of Attorney General's "Discretionary Power" to Initiate, or Not, a Prosecution against those Denounced for Crimes, was Strongly Criticized also at the level of CoE's various Monitoring Bodies competent on Human Rights/Democracy/Rule of Law issues, (including by ECHR), as "Eurofora" has observed in Strasbourg.
-----------------------------------
> But this ECHR Chamber claimed, in fine, that it would Not Exist any Right, fot anyone, to ask for a particular Suspect to be Prosecuted, (despite the eventual Importance of his Involvement): -"Article 2 does Not entail the right to have third Parties  Prosecuted – or Convicted – for a Criminal offence", according to that ECHR's Chamber (§31 + 37 , ibid).

+ Today's ECHR Chamber's Ruling also Claims that it would "Not" be its "Task to ... Decide Whether, in the Cirumstances, the Attorney-General could or should have Lifted the President’s Immunity", or Not, (ibid).

=> Only Based on such Considerations, just "in the Present Case" (i.e. Not necessarily in General), this Chamber's Ruling Claims that "it canNot be said ... that the domestic Authorities Failed ... to conduct an Effective Investigation, capable of leading to the establishment of the Facts and Identifying and, if appropriate, Punishing those Responsible".
It's Exclusively "having regard to the above", i.e. Argying Only the above-mentioned Claims, that an ECHR's Chamber "rejected" now, specifically "The Application" of the Widow and the 2 Orphan Children of the Brutally Killed Guardian, qualifying it as "manifetly Ill-Founded", (by Copying a Wider,"Passe-Partout" Wording of the PanEuropean Convention's Article 35 §3(a) and 4).


-------------------


>>> Nevertheless, Curiously, at the Same Time, ECHR reiterated its Established Case-Law, acording to which, States are Obliged to Investigate and Prosecute all those Suspect of having unduly Exposed the Life of Victims to Dangerous, Life-Threatening situations. (§ 28  of this Judgement):


-  I.e., even Opposite to its own previous Finding that, as a matter of General Principle, "those Responsible for enDangering Life" Must be ''Charged with a criminal offence or Prosecuted",  because, Otherwise, an Ommission of that, "may amount to a Violation of Article 2" (Protection of Human Life) of the PanEuropean Convention on Human Rights.


+ Moreover, such a Conclusion appears Contrary also to anOther ECHR Judgement's earlier Finding, which "Sum(s) up" what is "Required" by the Convention in affairs of Human Life, concerning the "Minimum Standards" that the "official Investigation" must "satisfy", Stressing that "the competent Authorities Must ...of their Own Motion, Initiate Investigations capable of ... Identifying the State Officials ... Involved, in Whatever Capacity (NB), in the Chain of Events in issue", (§ 29, ibid).


But, Obviously, this was Not done at all (by that Attorney General), as far as Christofias is concerned, Despite the Fact that he, UnDeniably, played the 1st Role in the Chain of Command at this affair ..., (Comp. Supra).


An Investigation including Christofias would, However, be useful for Both Sides, since he apparently had at least some Interesting things to Claim while Attempting to Alleviate or Hide his own Responsibilities:  As, f.ex., the critical Observation that a Summer Heatwave over Dangerously Abandoned Ammunitions, would Not, normaly lead to an Explosion ..."at 4 o'clock in Early Morning", as he pointed out much Later, apparently Implying that Something Else might have provoked the Tragedy : An extreme, but Not Excluded a priori Hypothesis, that does Not seem to have been really discussed in depthh, neither fully examinated.


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=> Therefore, in a so Important affair, as that of the Explosion at "MARI/FLORAKIS" Naval Base, concerning 13 People Killed and 62 Wounded, as well as a former Long-Time Top Political (Leftist) Leader, and Weapons' Embargo, around Syria/Iran, etc. on 2011, and Destroying a Country's Biggest Electric Energy Supply Factory, (etc)


 - i.e. approximatively  Equivalent to the infamous ..."BENGHAZI" Killings/Arms Smuggling rumours' affair of Hillary Clinton, which broke out on 2012, but still Occupied a lot the Latest, 2016 US Presidential Election Campain -


given also all those Controversial, Thorny and Complicated, but obvious, possible Legal Controversies mentioned Above, (Comp. Supra),


it canNot be Excluded that, in a Few Months from now, ECHR's Grand Chamber (with 17 Euro-Judges), might, eventualy, be invited to pronounce itself on this ECHR 7-Membes' only Chamber's Ruling published Today.

Such a Legaly possible and Legitimate (Comp. Supra) Development canNot be Excluded "a priori", if the Applicants' (the Widow and 2 Orphan Kids of a Brutally Killed Guardian)Lawyer, an Experienced former ECHR's Euro-Judge known in Strasbourg, decides to ask from the competent ECHR's Panel to Confirm the Reference to ECHR's "Great Chamber" for a Fresh, Wider and more Careful Review by a Bigger Number of much More Experienced Euro-Judges, than this Simple "Chamber" of Only 7 Members,  Headed by a Young and New Chairwoman just elected, in her New Job, only on ...February 2017 !

Accompagnied also by at least another 3 "New" EuroJudges, just Elected during the Last 3 Years (2015, 2016, and even ... April 2017 !), - but Only with 1 (one) Euro-Judge already Working in the ECHR at the Moment of that Deadly Explosion at the "Mari/Florakis" Naval Base : a Socialist Spanish Judge, Alone in that Chamber to have started Working at the ECHR Before that 2011 serious Tragic Incident), she couldn't, obviously, dispose, already now, of the Same Means and Experience as ECHR's Great Chamber's 17 mostly Long-Time Euro-Judges, obviously Able to have much More Chances to reach a Better Balanced, more Seriously Examined, and Convincingly Motivated, Final Decision, with a fully-fledged, Better and throroughly Motivated ECHR Judgement, in such an Important, Tragic, and Standard-Setting Case.


----------------------------------


Last, but not least, this ECHR Chamber's ruling, (in fact Decided already since Last Month : on June), wasn't made Public but Only on the 13th of July, i.e., when most European News Journalists should, normaly, either attent or follow remotedly, what was going on, in Paris, between Macron, Merkel, and Trump, who were notoriously visiting the French Capital, Exceptionaly, the one after the other, (followed by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Later-on).


Moreover, the relevant Press Communiqué Dated July 13th, does Not even Mention this ECHR's Judgement, Despite the obvious  Importance of this Affair, concerning a former President of an EU Member State, the Arms Embargo affecting Syria and Iran, Russia and USA, as well as the UN, a Tragedy with 13 Killed 62 People, the Accountability of States' Highest Authorities, (etc).


----------------


The Only (Brief) Public Mention of this Important Affair by the Secretariat of ECHR had been done Back on ... July 7, i.e. again a Notoriously OverLoaded Date, coinciding with the Opening and the Most Crucial Day of the 2017 "G20" Summit in Hambourg (Germany), where "Eurofora" was (Comp., f.ex.: ....), and 2 CoE's Human Rights' Conferences in Strasbourg, as well as the UN Secretary General, Guterres' arrival to Nearby Geneva, for the crucial Conclusion of an Important Quadrilateral Political Top Meeting on Cyprus' Issue, (with the UK, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey)...I.e. PanEuropean/International Events that Medias like "Eurofora" should, normally, strive to Attend or Follow...


Event then, it's Barely Mentioned, in one word, Only at the End of a Press Release, Lost among a Bief List of usualy "Banal" and/or Repetitive Cases, that ECHR's Secretariat usualy Choses to Not Present at all.


But, such an UnDeniably Important and Tragic Case, certainly Deserves a Better treatment than that...


Will ECHR's Great Chamber be given a Fair Chance to do so ?
-------------------------------

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Recent developments proved that Europe can suceed to overcome challenges by aiming at great objectives, and this is needed also in 2009, said EU chairman, French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    - "It's in the name of Great Ideas, Projects, Ambition and Ideals, that EU can overcome" challenges, stressed Sarkozy at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, in conclusion of a dense 7 months EU Chairmanship. "It's even easier for Europe to have Great projects, able to overcome national egoism, instead of limiting itself only to small projects" (unable to do alike), he observed.     

- "Europe must remain Ambitious and understand that the World needs her to take Decisions". "The World needs a Strong Europe", which "thinks on its own, has convictions, its own responses, its imagination" : "A Europe which does not limit itself into following" others, (as it did in the Past, when it followed USA, f.ex. on Bosnia). On the contrary, "Europe should undertake its own responsibilities", he said, after a series of succes in stopping the War between Russia and Georgia, and organizing the 1st EuroZone's Summit in Paris, which incited the Washington DC G-20 Summit to extend similar decisions World-wide.  


    - "When you sweep it all under the carpet, prepare yourself for hard tomorrows", he warned. "What hinders decisions is the lack of Courage and Will, the fading away of Ideals", he stressed before EU Parliament's 2008 debate on Human Rights and Sakharov prize on Freedom of thought attributed by MEPs to Chinese cyber-dissident Hu Jia, followed by an EU - Turkey meeting on Friday.

    - "I don't abandon my convictions" and "I will take initiatives" on EU level also in 2009, Sarkozy announced later. "France will not stop having convictions and taking initiatives" on Europe. + "It's an Error to wish to pass over the Heads of those who are elected in their Countries" : "It's an integrism I always fought against"', he warned.
---------------------
French EU Presidency faced 4 unexpected Crisis :

- An institutional crisis, with the Irish "No" to EU Lisbon Treaty, just before it started. A geopolitical crisis, wth the threat of War between Russia and Georgia risking to throw Europe back to Cold-war divisions, on August. A World-wide Financial and Economic crisis, arriving at a bad moment before crucial 2009 EU elections. And even a Strasbourg's mini-crisis, with EU Parliament's roof curiously falling down, from unknown reasons, in a brand new building on August, provoking an unprecedented transfert of the 2 September Plenary Sessions...

But it wasn't enough to stop Sarkozy ! On the contrary, it stimulated him...
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- "The better way to deal with the recent problems of EU institutions (as the "3 NO" by France, the Netherlands and Ireland) is to take them as a "Test" in order to find solutions closer to Citizens' concerns", said later in Strasbourg Sarkozy's new choice as Ministe for EU affairs, Bruno Le Maire.

- On the Institutional front, Sarkozy gave Time to the Irish to think about it, and stroke on December a deal including a New Referendum after the June 2009 EU Elections, in exchange of a promise to keep the rule of "one EU Commissioner for each EU Member Country", and some opt-outs on Defence and Fiscal EU policies, Abortion, etc. If the Irish get a "Yes" Majority, then the institutional package could be completed in 2010 or 2011 on the occasion of Croatia's probable EU accession.

He was accused in Strasbourg to upgrade EU Council and downgrade EU Commision, but he replied that "strong Political initiatives by EU Council reinforce also the more technical role of EU Commission, under the political-technical leadership of its President", all 3 "working together with EU Parliament".


- But, meanwhile, Sarkozy energetically spearheaded an Historic 1st Summit of EuroZone's 15 Heads of State and Government at EU's core, exceptionally enlarged to a partial participation of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, on October 12 in Paris' Elysee palace, which started to tackle succesfully the growing world Financial crisis.

    It also paved the way for its endorsement by a subsequent Brussels' 27 EU Member States' gathering, before it all come to Washington's G-20 Summit. And "Europe was united, it asked for the 1st G-20 Summit, and it will also organise the next G-20 Summit on April in London", he observed.   

 But a Conference with EU, Russia, African and other Developing Countries, hosted in Strasbourg shortly after Washington G-20 Summit by the French EU Presidency, took a Resolution asking to enlarge participation to Global Economic Governance. Many found, indeed, illogic and unacceptable that f.ex. states as Turkey were given a seat at G-20 level, while all African Countries, and even the African Union itself, representing the greatest Continent on Earth, were excluded...


    Meanwhile, even USA''s "Paulson No 3" Plan, was, in fact, inspired by Europe's No 1 Plan", Sarkozy observed, largelly applauded by MEPs.

    And "Europe showed Solidarity" by mobilizing some 22 Billion credit for Hungary, 1,7 billion for Ukraine, as we do nowadays for Baltic States, etc., he added.

    The move on Economy was extended on December by an EU stimulus' plan totalling some 200 billion Euros, including 5 Billions released by EU Commission for big Projects, as well as various parallel National plans for Economic revival, (fex. 26 billions in France alone). They might appear limited, compared to USA President-elect Obama's reported plan to boost the American economy with 800 billion $, but at least succeded to overcome Europe's divisions for the first time on Economic governance, opening new horizons.

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"We (EU) also wanted to avoid a situation like in Bosnia, in the Past, when EU was absent, so that our American friends took their responsibilitues, and EU only followed", despite the fact that the conflict took place in Europe. Now, it was the EU who took its responsibilities".

A roadmap towards a new PanEuropean Security policy, before which all unilateral moves to place new Missiles (from USA or Russia) would be freezed, was proposed by Sarkozy after a meeting with Russian president Medvedev, at the eve of Washington DC's G-20 Summit.

Ukraine's "European" character was stressed at a Sarkozy - Jushenko Summit, September in Paris, while EU adopted on December an "Eastern policy", in which, "I'm convinced that our (EU's) future is to find with our Neighbours the conditions for Economic Development. Peace and Security, by explaining them that.. they must respect (Human Rights') Values, and adopt behaviors different from the Past", explained Sarkozy in Strasbourg.

Meanwhile, the "Union for the Mediterranean" was created, since July's Summit if 45 Heads of State and Government in Paris, as "an organisation for a permanent Dialogue, that we need", mainly in order to tackle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by bringing together, for the 1st time, Israelis and Arabs, where "Europe must be present, in order to avoid a frontal clash".

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-----------------------
    Meanwhile, other EU Agreements were brokered during the French EU Presidency on Immigration, (fex. common Asylum rules, etc), and Climat- Energy :

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    - Defence-Security EU policy was mainly postponed for April 2009, since both German chancellor Merkel and French president Sarkozy want to strike a deal with the new American president Obama in Strasbourg's NATO Summit.

    However, with all these 4 unexpected Crisis diverting attention to other urgencies, People wil wonder now, what happened to the famous deal proposed by freshly-elected French President Sarkozy on Turkey's controversial EU bid, back on August 2007, to continue EU - Turkey negotiations, but on the double condition that core chapters, intrinsequally linked with EU Membership, will be excluded, and that a collective Reflexion and Debate on Europe's future would start before the end of 2008.

    It was meant to reply to the crucial question : What kind of Europe do we want in 10 or 20 Years from now : A large Market, or a Political Europe, with a popular identity ? In Sarkozy's thinking, presented in his 2 landmark speeches on Europe in Strasbourg, shortly before and after the 2007 Elections, (on February and July 2007), Turkey's controversial EU bid would be incompatible with the second choice.

    It's true that EU Commision's Chairman, Jose Barroso, (who had notoriously declared, as former Portuguese Prime Minister, that he found "nonsense" the idea that Europe might become equal to the US), had repeatedly tried to avoid that Sarkozy's criticism on Turkey might start winning a larger audience in Europe, preferring a discrete "wismens' committee" work. And that most of the personalities later chosen in order to participate in a Committee on Europe's Future, are too much linked with Socialist parties and/or American policies, to be really critical of USA's notorious wish to impose Turkey to the EU, as Sarkozy had noted himself since March 2007..

     - "It's on EU Council's presidency to take political initiatives. EU Commission has other competences", stressed Sarkozy. The "European Ideal" is to "build Europe with the States, not against them". "Ask Europeans to chose between their countries and Europe won't work. You don't choose between your two parents : We must add them together".

    "France and Germany have an Historic Duty to work together, precisely because of what happened to the Past. We have to work hand by hand. We cannot be separated.It goes beyond me and Mrs Merkel today, Mr Schroeder and Mr. Chirac yesterday. It's not a choice, it's a duty to Europe and to the World".  "We need Germany, as Germany needs Europe". Compromise is inevitable, here as everywhere, and each one made some steps towards eachother's positions.

    But "it's true that Mrs Merkel didn't chose her Socialist partners, while I chose mine", Sarkozy said, in an indirect hint that the Socialist Minister of Finance in Germany might be a cause of minor past disagreements in Economy, which were overcome in recent negotiations.

    "We (France and Germany) have particular duties in Europe", but "in a Europe of 27 Member States, it's not enough for France and Germany to agree between them.

    "I always thought that Great Britain has a special role to play in Europe. ... Now, everybody "saw what it cost payed the UK for having been too exclusively open towards the US (and) Financial services. Europe needs the UK, but also the UK needs Europe" :- "We were able to face the hardest moment of the Financial crisis because the UK clearly chose Europe", stressed Sarkozy, reminding Gordon Brown's exceptional participation to the Historic 1st Heads of State/Government Summit of EuroZone, October 12 in Paris (See EuroFora's Reportage from Elysee Palace then).

     - "Some look at Europe with old glasses aged 30 years ago. While we must look at her in relation to what it will be in 30 years" in the Future, Sarkozy concluded.

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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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