Upon the initiative of the German EU presidency, representatives of Greece, Turkey and the German government met in Berlin on Monday (13 July) in an effort to take the first step and de-escalate tensions between Ankara and Athens.
Berlin does not want an “accident” in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean, especially during the German EU presidency, hence the mediation efforts with Turkey, which is also an important trade partner of Germany.
But Turkey’s FM Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu for some reason unveiled the “secret” meeting, dealing another blow to the trust between the two countries.
Ankara has announced that it will soon launch drilling activities in Greece’s Exclusive Economic Zone. If this happens, Greece has asked its EU partners to impose massive sanctions that will “paralyse” Turkey’s ailing economy.
According to press reports in Athens, Germany submitted proposals to de-escalate tensions between the two countries, but a few hours later, at a meeting of EU foreign ministers, Greece insisted on sanctions against Turkey, which shows that these proposals did not find fertile ground.
(Sarantis Michalopoulos, EURACTIV.com)