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Pagina principale 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

Scritto da 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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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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