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Haupt arrow newsitems arrow Strasbourg's f. MEP Samaras' win in Greek main opposition party ND may have EU impact on Spring 2010

Strasbourg's f. MEP Samaras' win in Greek main opposition party ND may have EU impact on Spring 2010

Geschrieben von ACM
Sunday, 29 November 2009

 

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The unexpectedly strong win on Sunday by a former Strasbourg's EU Parliament's EuroMP in the 1st popular elections for the new Leader of Greece's main opposition party, New Democracy (ND, center-right), may trigger far-reaching repercussions in Europe's present geo-political context, even before an important rendez-vous set for Spring 2010.

Antonis Samaras, an energetic outsider aged 58, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and EuroMP (2004-2007),  won a landslide victory versus several competitors, including the experienced former Foreign MInister and Mayor Dora Bakogiani, (daughter of former Prime Minister Mitsotakis), for the presidency of the ND party which governed Greece between 2004 and 2009 with Costas Caramanlis, before declaring unexpectedly early national elections last October and losing the government to the Socialist party PASOK, led by US-born George Papandreou, (who comes 3rd in a row of 3 Prime Ministers in 3 Generations in his family-tree).

Obviously inspired by the pre-electoral style of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Samaras, who cited explicitly German Chancelor Angie Merkel in his latest speech last Friday, 27/11/09, stressed that he wants to give "hope" to the People, stimulate a lively debate of "Ideas", make a "Democratic Revolution" against bureaucratic "Mecanisms" of old Systems, and succeed a "real Change" for "all the country", by a "rupture" vis a vis the establishment, in order to revitalize and renew a center-right popular movement able to attract citizens from a large political spectrum, but not afraid to clearly speak out on its values.

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This apparently stimulated grassroots' movemens and citizens all over the country, who rushed massivey to vote, surprising the system to the point that the electronic network broke down and organizers had to prolonge for hours the electoral process in order to give time to all voters to participate in the 1st ever election of ND's leader by its members and sympathizers, and not by the apparatus.

Earlier this week in Strasbourg, EU Parliament's 1st vice-President, ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Mrs Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, openly endorsed Samaras candidacy, stressing that he was "able to combine (Greece's) national interests with European interests".

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Rodi Kratsa, who had contributed also to a collective Think-tank for France's EU-¨Presidency in 2008, and had officially welcomed President Sarkozy at his 1st visit in EU Parliament as early as since November 2007c, speaking to "EuroFora" betore Samara's win, said that it was important to make good use of the short time available to clearly explain to the People Samara's candidacy through all available Media, (including Radios, Internet, etc).

Exceptionally, the campaign had also another Strasbourg's link at EU Parliament, since ND's new EuroMP, Georges Cumutsakos, as he said to "EuroFora", had to share his time between EU votes and debates, and his duties as ND's Spokesman, obliged to reply to several questions and make statements on the way this unprecedented electoral process was going on..

An obvious point of EU interest is that Samaras, who is generally considered as more critical on Turkey than his predecessor, (unwilling, unable or hindered to really change PASOK's former policy in favor of Ankara), may add a new potential ally to French President Sarkozuchy and German Chancellor Merkel's well known opposal to Turkey's controversial, expensive and unpopular EU bid : Recently, they seem to focus much more on strict respect of EU's conditions, and Samaras' Greece could certainly be able to provide France and Germany many rock-solid reasons, such as Turkish Mlitary Airplanes' overflights of the Aegean Sea (sometilmes even deadly), oppression of Christian Minorities' Human Rights, Cyprus, etc.

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(1st EU Parliament's vice-President Rodi Kratsa Photo welcomes French President Sarkozy at his 1st visit at EU Parliament, οn November 2007, together with former EU Parliament's President Poettering)

As far as Government is concerned, a crucial Rendez-vous is March 2010, because, according to the Greek Constitution, a new President of the Republic has to be elected by a 2/3rds Majority of MPs. The current PASOK Government lacking such a majority, if it doesn't agree with Samara's ND on a common candidate, it could be obliged to dissolve the Parliament and declare new elections, according to the rules. If Samaras' ChristianDemocrat/EPP party wins such national elections on Spring 2010, while both Sarkozy and Merkel still have a strlyong political mandate, then, many things may hapen next...

But even independenty of such a scenario, the current Prime Minister, Georges Papandreou (also well-known in Strasbourg since he had chaired the CoE as former Minister for EU affairs, as early as back since 1998), who already has to fight a hard struggle to defend the country's Economy from heavy Debts coming mainly from the Past Decades during which his own party, PASOK, holded the Government, could not totally ignore a "strong criticism", as Samaras has promised, from the main opposition party ND, particularly if it is based on new ideas which could become very popular.

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    EU Rapporteur on Enlargment Strategy, maistream German MEP Elmar Brok, speaking to "EuroFora", welcomed the proposal made earlier this week by French President Nicolas Sarkozy for the EU to"start Now Talks with Turkey to create a common Economic and Security area", instead of full Accession, at a period when Ankara looks more and more unfit and/or unwilling to respect EU conditions.

    - "For Europe to have strong Political will, it must stop dilutiing itself in an endless Enlargement. It must have borders...Diversities enrich, on the condition that they don't undermine European Cohesion, and don't weaken EU Unity", Sarkozy stressed.
    
    - "Countries like Turkey share a part of common destiny with Europe, with which they have a vocation to build a Privileged Relation, to be closely associated, but not to become Member of the EU"  : "Noone respects his friends by telling them lies. Noone respects his friends by making them promises that will be never kept", he added.

    That's why "we'd better start, from now, negotiating with Turkey to create a common Economic and Security area", Sarkozy proposed.

Significantly, the French President was repeatedly and largely applauded by EU citizens, 3 times, when he made the Turkey point, (strategically placed between Europe's "Political Will" and its cultural heritage, historically open to mutually enriching dialogue with all the World, but never diluted).

    - "We could propose such a great ambition also to Russia, which must not be percieved as an Adversary of Europe, but as a Partner. Thus, we'd create a wide area, of more than 800 Million inhabitants, sharing the same Security, the same Prosperity", he concluded.

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    Sarkozy's move was anounced at the eve of a Franco-German Top meeting with Chancellor Angie Merkel in Berlin on Sunday, to jointly launch the EU Elections campain, after an EU Summit at nearby Prague, to launch a new kind of relations, called "Eastern Partnership", with neighboring countries such as Urkaine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaidjan, etc, (to which Russia, reportedly, is not - and does not want to be - included).

    As for Ukraine, which has already expressed her wish to join the EU in future, "Kiev will have a special place, and a very important role to play", replied earlier this week in Strasbourg, to an "EuroFora" question EU Chairman in office , Czech vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra.

    - "This direction is more Realistic for Turkey than Accession negotiations", reacted immediately EU Parliament's Rapporteur for Enlargment Strategy, mainstream German MEP Elmar Brok, commenting Sarkozy's idea for "EuroFora"

     Particularly "as far as it concerns the respect of EU Rules by both sides", he added, hinting at Turkey's now obvious inability and/or unwillingness to abide with EU Acquis, EU Commitments (fex. on Cyprus, etc), and European Democracy/Human Rights rules. (Comp. infra).

    Brok added that, in his view, a similar proposal might be made also to Ukraine and other neighbouring Countries, regardless if they have, or not, a "European vocation". This would not necessarily mean that there couldn't be any accession prospects at all." for all the countries that might be included in this area, according to Brok.  But it's preferable, particularly for Turkey, "because it's a more Realistic approach than full Membership".

    On this point, Sarkozy's proposal, (which he'll share with German Chancellor Merkel), seems more crystal-clear.

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    - "Turkey does not fullfil EU Criteria, and will never fullfil EU Criteria" on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law. "Some have been lying to Ankara, but we must tell the Truth, and have honest and close relations with her", said meanwhile to "EuroFora" on the same issue also the President of EU Parliament's largest Group of MEPs (ChristianDemocrats/EPP), Joseph Daul.
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"Hot" Debate at EU Parliament reveals CHANGE of mood towards "Suspension" of EU - Tukey talks.
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    Earlier this week, many MEPs, and even some of those who were previously in favor of Turkey's controversial EU bid, strongly criticized the persistance and even aggravation of serious Human Rights violations in the country, that ECHR continues to "unanimously" condemn ":

      - "After winning a big victory in the latest Local Elections, the pro-Kurdish party DTP almost doubled its Elected Mayors from 52 to 98", but afterwards "more than 400 politicians were thrown to Prison and prosecuted" by the Turkish Authorities, denounced on behalf of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group, Belgian MEP Frieda Brepoels.

     At the same time, "more than 1.500 Children are closed in Turkish Prisons", she added. "What will the EU Commission do" against these facts ?

- "Turkey appears to be at greater Distance away from Copenhagen Criteria after 4 Years of accession Negotiations, than when they started !", denounced on behalf of the Liberal Group, German MEP Alexander Lambsdorf.    

"On the central issue of Press Freedom, Critical Journalists face obstacles for their accreditation, others are prosecuted, condemned, fined and/or jailed, Media blocked or closed", he denounced.   

 - "EU Made 2 grave Mistakes with Turkey : To start accession negotiations, and to continue them", despite everything, criticized Dutch MEP Bastian Belder, on behalf of the Ind/Dem group.

(../..)

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