Yildiz urges EU to open energy chapter to negotiations
It is no longer sustainable for the European Union to block the opening of the energy chapter in accession negotiations with Turkey for political reasons, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz said yesterday. Stating that the EU has no option other than opening the chapter, Yildiz said, "This issue shouldn't be politicized. There's no technical obstacle to opening this chapter. Right now, Turkey's electricity and natural gas systems and networks are technically integrated with those of EU." In related news, Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberger said that Turkey should be allowed into the EU if it meets all the accession criteria. "A promise must be kept" if Turkey does its part, he told the New York Times. Pointing to the soaring numbers of migrants in various European countries, particularly Turkish migrants in Germany, since the 1950s, Schwarzenberger also said European needs more time to adapt to this situation. In other news, in his state of the union address to the European Parliament yesterday, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barrosso urged EU member countries to adopt reforms to tackle the economic crisis, but many MEPs criticized the commission for failing to integrate Turkey into the EU, saying this could have avoided the crisis with Greece. "If Turkey had been integrated into the EU, the economic crisis in Greece wouldn't have happened," said Daniel Cohn-Bendit, co-chair of the EP's Greens. "Greece spent €50 billion on arms over the last decade due to Turkish-Greek conflict. The EU could have put an end to this conflict by admitting Turkey into the Union, thus helping Greece cut arms spending."