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Eurosceptic Bloggers

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Q&A: Turkey and the EU

This week is a busy one in the corridors of European Power, but the big issue of the week will be Turkey. In response, the Guardian has a Q&A on the issue. The standout section is of course:

What are the benefits for Turkey? The EU has a track record of guaranteeing democracy, often only recently achieved, in its member states and ending cross-border conflicts. One reason that Greece, which has been on the brink of war with Turkey several times, supports membership is to increase stability in its immediate area. The commission report said that Turkey could expect substantial economic benefits.

Guaranteeing democracy is a massive claim indeed. Members such as Spain, Portugal and Greece became members soon after the fall of dictatorships. They have since been functioning democracies, but in the absence of a control group, whose to say that the EU has anything to do with this success. As for Eastern Europe, we waited until democracy was secured before accepting new members. So much for ideals. That great beacon of democracy was responsible for punishing the Austrians when their choice of government was seen as dodgy. In contrast virtually all of the current crop of leaders spent their youth working for the workers revolution, a distinctly non democratic ideal, which is apparently perfectly acceptable. We support democracy as long as the right side wins. Besides Turkey is a functioning democracy, despite the imperfections, and has been since 1983. (In fact with a few small hitches for a lot longer) Joining a socialist superstate that lacks democratic accountability is unlikely to be an improvement. As for cross border conflicts, the EU's unprecedented success is Bosnia, is something that we can all be proud of as Europeans. No sorry I'm a little confused, it could have been Kosova or maybe nowhere at all. The real benefits for Turkey as they see it are simply two.
  1. Money, loads of it: Turks are jealous of the cash that the Greeks have got over the years.
  2. Freedom to Travel: Everyone wants a visa from a Turk, they hate it.

The horrible truth is that the Turks will never get the money that they expect and the money will have unexpected consequences. Turkey is a corrupt country anyway, imagine the fun that could be had with billions of Euros of someone elses money.

Freedom of movement is the scariest part as far as existing members are concerned. That will be a benefit for the grandchildren.

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