Eurozone crisis to mark Turkey’s EU talks

Eurozone crisis to mark Turkey’s EU talks

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Eurozone crisis to mark Turkey’s EU talks

AA Photo

As the economic crisis deepens across Europe, 2012 will be a hard year regarding Turkey’s negotiations with the European Union, according to EU Minister Egemen Bağış.

The EU needs Turkey more than ever to boost its weak economic growth, Bağış told Anatolia news agency during an interview yesterday.

“If the European Union thinks that whatever they can rip off from Turkey is a gain during the economic crisis the EU has been experiencing, opening new chapters for Turkey’s accession would not be beneficial for us,” said the minister in charge of Turkey’s EU negotiations, adding that the chapters should serve mutual interests.

“European Union needs Turkey on several matters. Turkey grew by 8.9 percent in 2010 and nearly 10 percent in 2011,” said Bağış.

Last year was not an easy one regarding the EU accession talks for Turkey. “It will also be a tough year in 2012,” the minister said, adding that he was hopeful for 2013. “I believe Turkey will be a shining star of Europe in 2013.”

The eurozone economy posted growth of 0.8 percent in the first quarter of 2011, compared with Turkey robust growth which accelerated to 11.7 percent. As the eurozone economic growth slowed to 0.2 percent in the second quarter of the last year, Turkey’s growth reached 11 percent. The eurozone expanded by 0.2 percent in the third quarter of the last year while Turkey’s economic growth slowed to 8.2 percent.

However, Turkey is not immune eurozone woes as several economists agree that uncertainties will mark the new year.

Fresh challenges – if not uncertainties, as Turkish Central Bank Gov. Erdem Başçı has put it – look set to mark 2012, according to economists and business professionals. Revealing Turkey’s monetary policy in 2012 earlier this week, Başçı made a sharp distinction between normal days and exceptional circumstances. Such a duality does not seem to be limited to the monetary policy, but also extends to the overall economy as Turkey’s 2011 dilemma of fast growth and widening trade deficit and the most important current account gap widened to $65 billion in first 10 months of the last year, is poised to continue into the new year.