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Enter right, ’The New Europe’

Saturday 20 January 2007, by Semih Idiz

Source : Turkish Daily News, 11-01-2007

Romania and Bulgaria’s “contributions” to Europe started immediately and can be expected to continue apace. Thanks to the fascists in these new EU members, the xenophobic, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic far right now has the necessary numbers to form a group in the European Parliament.

According to the Guardian newspaper, Bulgaria’s quota of European Parliament seats includes one held by the extreme right Ataka Party of Volen Siderov, which campaigns against Gypsies or Roma and Turks, while Romania has supplied a breakthrough for the hard right by gaining five seats for Corneliu Vadim Tudor’s anti-Hungarian, anti-Semitic and anti-Roma Greater Romanian Party. It is these gentlemen and their cohorts that European neo-fascism has to thank.

In addition to this, Romania’s Justice Minister and brave anti-corruption campaigner Monica Macovei has admitted openly that with EU membership the drive by her country to combat corruption can be expected to slowdown, if not come to a standstill. This alone is enough for us to question the fact that the EU is supposedly a “stickler” in terms of its “criteria,” a fact that is constantly thrown at Turkey.

Talking to EUobserver.com, Macovei said earlier this week that political support for reforms in her country is visibly waning, with Parliament and judges all appearing unwilling to reform further, despite warnings from the European Commission.

Admitting that “nobody loves her” in the Romanian Cabinet or Parliament, because of her fight against corruption, Macovei said, “I saw that while we were nearing the date of accession and being certain of this date, the anti-corruption measures were more and more unwanted and criticized.“”We have a political class that has not been investigated, neither controlled, nor subjected to standards for 16 years and they want to continue like this,” she added. The chances are that they will be able to continue like that too.

When Greek Cypriot leader Papadopoulos does things that supposedly annoy Europeans and you ask them “so why don’t you do something about it” the retort is always, “We can’t because they are members of the EU.”

Romanians and Bulgarians have obviously drawn the right lesson. “Lets carry on the pretense of reform and become members, and then we will carry on as before” is clearly the way they were thinking.

Seeing that membership, despite all the hollow threats from Europe of a “suspension of negotiations” or “delay in accession,” was in fact guaranteed, these countries realized early enough that, unlike Turkey, they would not be put through any trial by fire.

As if all of this was not enough, another one of their “contributions” to Europe is becoming apparent already. The Home Office in Britain — one of the most generous countries previously in terms of accepting labor from new EU members — has announced that it will slap a 1,000 pound fine on Romanians and Bulgarians found working in the U.K. illegally.

As an aside here, this alone proves what the Independent said as far back as September last year, when it indicated that when these two countries join the EU, they will be no more than “third class members” and treated as such.

It may seem to some in retrospect that the EU was so busy nit-picking against Turkey, that it did not have time to see all this. But this is too generous an interpretation and many in Europe do not deserve it.

The fact is that the reasons thrown at Turkey to keep her at bay in terms of EU membership were mere political devises in a less then honorable game at trying to keep Turks out of Europe, and all sensible people, including many in important positions, admit this openly.

An eye-opener for Turks

Otherwise it would have been apparent that if Bulgaria or Romania are ready for membership under these conditions, then Turkey’s membership cannot be much further down the road. But this is not the case, and the EU’s total insincerity towards Turkey has been exposed yet again for all and sundry to see.

So, under these circumstances, the EU more than deserves its Haiders, Bossis, Le Pens, Moelzers, Motes, Siderovs, Tudors, Vanheckes, Mussolinis and Stoyanovs just to name but a few of these people. May they prosper and grow.

As for those Europeans who will get annoyed with this article, and say, “But all of this is bad for Turkey’s EU bid,” there is but one answer. This is not bad for Turkey’s EU membership bid, but an eye-opener for Turks who would hardly want to join a grouping where such people are given a political platform to promote their sick ideas.

This is in fact bad for Europe, not Turkey, because of what it connotes, and the way its shows that the reasons for the death of 60 million people within living memory in the Old Continent means little for growing numbers of Europeans today.

In fact, I believe we should not get angry at these fascists, and their sick and inhuman notions. At least they are honest about how they feel. What should anger us much more are the crypto-fascists, those effete European officials and politicians who retain a thin veneer of civility because their bourgeois sensibilities demand that they not be seen as fascists, even if they feel much the same as these fascists in their heart of hearts.

As a final say here I must add that it was telling that even Tuncay Bakirhan, the deputy leader of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP), has seen through the EU now. In a report he prepared for his party after a tour of European capitals, Bakirhan noted that the EU was “double dealing and merely playing for time with Turkey,” going on to exhort more lobbying activities in Ankara, rather than wasting time in Europe.

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