Tuesday, November 28, 2006

[turkey and the eu] cyprus the stumbling block

On the eve of the Pope's visit to Turkey, where Europe's fraught relations with its predominantly Muslim neighbour have been highlighted by widespread protests, the EU abandoned any hope of reaching a deal on Cyprus. The breakdown sets the scene for three weeks of intense diplomacy as the EU decides how severely Turkey should be punished for refusing to open its ports and airports to Greek Cypriot shipping.

When will they wake up? There are certain things which will never happen. One of them is Britain escaping the EU clutch, another is Turkey compromising over their occupation of northern Cyprus. Another is Wimbledon Vinnying another FA Cup. CAP is another. And US trade subsidies is yet another. They’ll have lovely lunches together and trips to the Bahamas to sort it all out but, of course, they never will. Entrenched national interest is, in the end, paramount.

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