As accession hopes dim, Turkey shelves EU reforms
With key European Union states showing no sign of relenting in their opposition to Turkey's accession, the government has postponed dozens of laws required to achieve harmonization with the 27-nation bloc's standards until after the June general elections, and even beyond. Among more than 40 laws that are required to be passed, those involving significant economic costs are particularly unlikely to come to Parliament in the foreseeable future as the government is reluctant to agree to the financial burden without any real prospect for membership. Sources close to the issue estimate the cost of harmonization with EU standards at $60 billion, and the public and private sectors are both expected to be affected. As elections draw near, this is a painful concession to make. France and Germany oppose Turkey's membership due to cultural differences, and many in the EU fear that Turkish accession will spark an influx of immigrants from Turkey.