Oettinger: "Germany and France will kneeldown to Ankara"
Speaking at a conference titled "EU-2020: Opportunities and Risks for Germany and Europe" in Brussels, EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger criticized the reluctant attitude about Turkey's accession to the EU, saying, "A German chancellor, along with a French counterpart, will kneel down to Ankara and ask Turks to join them in a few years. As reported by the German Bild daily, Oettinger, who is also former prime minister of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, criticized Brussels for intervening excessively in everything and noted that they could not promote economic growth in the EU, saying "It is only our speech texts that are growing." Furthermore, speaking to the Hurriyet daily, Oettinger's press secretary Nicole Bockstaller stated that the Commissioner for Energy in his speech made significant statements concerning Turkey's role in the EU energy policies, saying, "He underlined the need for the EU and its member states to develop close relations with Turkey. If you consider Oettinger's arguments within the framework of energy policies, Turkey's significance becomes clearer. From a European perspective, Turkey stands on a route which connects regional energy sources to Europe. It is one of the safest countries, as in the Southern Gas Corridor project. Accordingly, Oettinger reiterated that Turkey was an important partner for the EU." Bockstaller added that those statements were personal opinions of Oettinger, not the Commission.