Mose Apelblat

Greece’s EU presidency

Regarding “The EUs weak link must hold” (INYT, January 9) by Mr Nikos Konstandaras, editor of the Greek newspaper Kathimerini: While I share his hopes for a successful Greek EU presidency, in a difficult economic and social situation, I must react against his description of Greece’s role in EU. When Greece held the EU presidency in 2003, it pressured EU to accept Cyprus as a member state despite the unsolved Cyprus issue, with negative consequences for the negotiations with Turkey.

This time many had hoped that Greece would pursue a more constructive policy and stop vetoing the start of accession negotiations with its northern neighbor, Macedonia or, as it’s temporarily called, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. But this didn´t happen at the EU summit last December.

Enlargement isn’t even a priority during the Greek presidency. The name issue is indeed a sensitive issue but it’s disturbing that it cannot even be discussed in Greek media. If supposedly independent media censor themselves and suppress any discussion on the name issue, the public opinion in the country will remain the same, right or wrong. The government can go on with its policy without any scrutiny or questioning.

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