Europe crisis threat to peace, says Babacan
Ali Babacan. DAILY NEWS photo
Turkey categorically supports a strong Europe because the continent, which is currently facing both economic and political problems, stands at a crucial spot in terms of world peace, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said yesterday.
“The world is experiencing a complicated period that it has not faced during the last 100 years; debates have even started over the long-appreciated values of Europe,” Babacan said, addressing a group of businesspeople, investors and journalists at an Istanbul meeting organized by daily Hürriyet.
“Whatever the consequences are, we want Europe to remain strong and successful,” Babacan said. “We believe that a Europe that includes Turkey is vital for peace, stability and security in the world.”
Babacan’s warnings came only days after a historic statement by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said the debt crisis in the eurozone represented Europe’s “toughest hour since World War II.”
Turkey’s possible membership in the European Union is a win-win situation, Babacan said. “Should Turkey join, the union will become stronger,” he said. “This is good both for the region and the world.”
Commenting on the ongoing uprisings and political developments in North Africa and the Middle East, the deputy prime minister said Turkey was even more effective and influential than the 27-nation EU, which is the most powerful bloc in the world.
“If Europe withdraws into itself, it will become weaker, and its impact across the world will weaken. This will be no good for the world,” he said.
Turkey has never ignored European woes, the minister said. “The world can only overcome this problematic period by uniting and implementing coordinated policies.”
Babacan, who also heads a group of ministers responsible for the economy, trade and finance, is skeptical about the newly appointed governments in both Greece and Italy. “The appointed governments will try to convince the parliaments and people [to accept austerity measures even] when the former elected governments fail to do so,” he said.
Noting that harder times might be on the way, Babacan asked, “How will the Group of 20 countries or the EU develop bigger solutions when they cannot solve the problem in Greece?”