13 December 2006

EUobserver - Cyprus plays hard...

Dear readers,

I have been away for a while, for medical reasons, and will be away again for a couple of weeks. No worries, just a small issue, but annoying nonetheless.

In the meantime, there was an excellent article again on the EU Observer, about Cyprus and Turkey. I think Cyprus used again its veto rights to block any positive move on the issue of Turkey, openly backed by Greece and probably Germany and France. This is shamefull, not only because it is obvioulsy the wrong way to obtain any results from Turkey and because it gives a poor image on the EU. But it might also be a very costly move for Cyprus. It is the second time (at least) that the Greek side of Cyprus blocks a deal to help the reunification of the island. But using a veto right for this is very dangerous. Cyprus is new to the EU, and its government probably ignores one of the oldest untold rule of the European Council. When one state vetoes a decision, it gets what it wants. But the next request it makes to the Council is traditionnally refused by the other members, even if all would have normally agreed.

Cyprus won today (and even this is disputable). But the other coutries in the EU will make it pay for it one day. I bet the UK will lead the blow, but some other countries could well join. Even without this, the stubornness of Greek Cypriots to block any compromise with Turkey is a sure way of losing their fight in the long term. Turkey has less to lose and much more clout and power than Cyprus. It's a fact of real politics... Something the nationalists in power in Nicosia seem to lack badly.

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