Greece pushed into dangerous chaos
Greece is entering the most unstable period in its recent history. The European Union has given the green light for the second bailout of 130 billion euros to save Greece from bankruptcy, but rather than relieve, it has forced Greece into further poverty.
A scary prescription.
The Council of the European Union - primarily Germany and France - has such a huge distrust of Greek politicians, and feels so strongly that it has been deceived, that it was able to force the acceptance of an austerity regime that could be called brutal. Such a strict regime has never been imposed on any other country yet.
Within two years, 150,000 civil servants will have lost their jobs, the minimum wage will have been lowered, there will have been no increase in salaries, and expenditures (including defense) will have been cut to a great extent.
Europe does not believe that Greece will be able to keep its promise. It has such distrust that it seeks signed, binding agreements from Greek political leaders. Europe may be right in its anger, but it has acted in an enormously patronizing manner and with a huge superiority complex. It has clearly demonstrated that it has taken this step not to save Athens from bankruptcy, but just to save its own skin. This attitude is very ugly, and would not be deemed worthy of any other country.
Turkey should extend its hand to Greece
The managing editor of Greece’s prominent Kathimerini newspaper, Alexis Papahelas, has very justifiably written: “You [Europe] are insulting the people. This approach of yours will even block those who support the reforms.”
It may be because they do not care, or it may be that they do not realize, but Europe is pushing Greece into chaos. Instability on the other side of the Aegean results in an extremely dangerous process, especially with regard to Turkey.
If there are those of us who say, “Oh, well, they should learn their lesson,” they are very mistaken, just like the Europeans. On the contrary, Turkey should support Greece in this period; it should extend its hand. The gesture of Energy Minister Taner Yıldız, for example, is a very suitable approach.
Turkey’s interests lie in a stable Greece. Good neighborliness is tested in bad times.
Parliamentary regulation fights
The main opposition party Republican People’s Party (CHP) is demanding justice. The government is opposing them, arguing that the opposition is using its existing rights in an exaggerated way to block resolutions. The opposition is submitting motions that have no relevance to the topic, they say. After submitting motions, four people are allowed to speak for 10 minutes, which makes 40 minutes in total. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) thus claims that time is wasted and the passing of resolutions is becoming extremely difficult. They want to reduce the right to submit motions from four times a week to once a week and the duration of allowed speech from 10 to five minutes.
This is the reason of the fights. It is indeed an important restriction.
However, there could be a middle way, without resorting to such draconian reductions. The four times a week right could be lowered to two or three, and the 10-minute speech time could be reduced to six or seven instead of five. Then this move can be tolerated.
Meanwhile, the AK Parti should not forget that today they are ruling but tomorrow, (I assume they know they will not be ruling this country forever), when they move into opposition, they will fall into their own trap.