21 October, 2006
The accession negotiations now underway with Turkey should on no account lead to "discounts" in European values and standards, Greece's main opposition leader George Papandreou stressed during statements made in Finland on Friday.
Emerging from talks with the Finnish presidency of the EU, the head of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) said his message was directed equally to all sides, including the Greek government. The Finnish EU presidency is currently preparing to present a proposal that it hopes will overcome the EU-Turkey deadlock over the Ankara Agreement, which is blocking Turkey's accession progress, and persuade Ankara to open its ports and airports to Cyprus.
Papandreou is continuing contacts in Helsinki, which will also take in the Cypriot and Turkish sides, in what he says is a bid to protect the interests of Cyprus and Greece in view of the Finnish proposals.
PASOK's leader had a meeting with Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos on Friday morning, while a week earlier he held talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
"I will continue these efforts with the aim of making Turkey respect its obligations toward a member-state of the European Union, the Cyprus Republic," Papandreou told reporters after his meeting with Finland's Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja.
Source: Athens News Agency