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Monday, October 03, 2005

Forever And A Day

Over the weekend Germany's CDU/CSU party picked up another seat, giving them 226 seats to the SDP's 222. That's Merkel 226, Schroeder 222, and Germany 0, because no one believes this will settle the matter of who should be Chancellor. Schroeder still feels that he is entitled to remain Chancellor. Merkel may let this go for a while longer and then try to force another election. This time the CDU/CSU might get a bigger margin. In Dresden, the FDP (right-most party) picked up 9% on Sunday.

As for why you should care - listen up, Howard. Schroeder campaigned strongly for Turkish admission to the EU. He represents the Old Guard of Germany, which will support Turkey's accession. Merkel showed her hand last year by meeting with Sarkozy and agreeing that Turkey should not be admitted to the EU, a position she still maintains and which formed a plank of her campaign. The SDP has been advancing the "special partnership" idea for Turkey.

What happens in Germany is going to have a huge effect on Europe's future. And it could even mean war between Turkey and Iraq a few years down the line, depending on the next US election and how far the US will go to support the new Iraq with a military alliance. Right now Austria is making a stand to try to prevent accession talks from opening with Turkey. The UK is exerting strong pressure to continue with the accession talks as decided last year. If Austria remains alone, it will be forced to recant. If it gets support from Germany, it may prevail. There is far more going on here than meets the eye. You have a conflict between old Europe and new Europe, the question of France's political future, and basically the question of Europe's self-conception.

Turkish Press - Gul meets with aides:
Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul met with senior advisers Sunday in anticipation of a decision by the European Unions whether to open membership discussions with Turkey as planned on Monday.
See also the Press Scan and Erdogan speaks out. There are rumors that Jack Straw of the UK has offered some compromises to Turkey, but Turkey is demanding that talks for full accession go forward.

While the EU must grant Turkey entry, they will have to EARN entry.

So far, it seems to be too big a gamble.
Well, they'd work out an agreement for all the things that have to happen. It's not like BANG! Turkey would be in.

The enlargement issue is a hot one in general in the EU right now.
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