TODAY.AZ / Politics

EU fight to postpone Turkey report

20 September 2006 [20:29] - TODAY.AZ
Socialist MEPs are battling to head off a crucial Strasbourg vote on a report attacking Turkey.

A hard-hitting report by Dutch MEP Camiel Eurlings has been branded "unbalanced and biased" by left wing deputies.

"We want to postpone both the debate and the vote on this report," Hannes Swoboda MEP told this website.

"The report is overloaded with negative elements and we are worried this will send the wrong signal to the people of Turkey."

The centre-left MEPs - the parliament's second biggest bloc – will use a Thursday meeting of political group and committee leaders to push for the delay.

The Eurlings report laments a "slowdown in democratic reforms" in Turkey and says Ankara must recognise the Armenian "genocide" as a precondition for EU entry.

It also calls on Ankara to remove or amend articles that allowed judges to limit freedom of expression as well as normalise relations with Cyprus.

A delegation of MPs from Turkey last week described the report as "nasty and negative."

And their views have been echoed by officials in Brussels.

"The Eurlings report is the most critical parliamentary report yet. It contains 80 paragraphs and about 75 are critical," a parliament official told this website.

"And it looks like it would get backed. Eurlings has supporters within the centre-right and the socialists."



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