Swoboda calls on Merkel not to block EU talks with Turkey
Hannes Swoboda, the leader of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament, has slammed German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her government's reported intention to block the opening of Turkey-EU talks on a negotiating chapter. Stating that the best way to deal with the recent situation in Turkey would be to open chapters, not block them, Swoboda said, "I'm not only for the opening of Chapter 22 but also Chapters 23 and 24 right away. It is strange that the EU opens first and foremost Chapters 23 and 24 in accession talks with other candidates with the exception of Turkey." Swoboda warned Merkel that it was high time for the EU "to give clear signals to Turkey for membership, otherwise some would go far enough to blame the demonstrators for the postponement of the chapter."