European Council to soon show Turkey the stick, says German Ambassador to Greece

The European Council will soon be showing Turkey "the stick" of sanctions, said the German Ambassador to Greece, Dr Ernst Reichel, while speaking to the Standing European Affairs Committee of the Greek parliament earlier on Thursday, as reported by Greek press.

“We are dealing with a difficult neighbour, and this is a problem we have not only with Turkey but also with Russia, another difficult neighbour,” Reichel said.

Turkey must be persuaded, “and the question is how,” the ambassador continued. “I believe the right answer is a stick-and-carrot approach. I want to say that the European Council will show Turkey the stick very soon,” he said.

Germany, during its European Union presidency, maybe at the next European Council, will bring up the threat of sanctions against Turkey and discuss the general decline in its relationship with Europe, according to the ambassador.

Berlin’s intense efforts to kickstart talks between Athens and Ankara were underlined in German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Wednesday’s teleconference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a few hours after another with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Vassilis Nedos wrote for Katherimini Thursday.

According to the Turkish readout, Erdoğan told Merkel that European states should be fair and consistent on the issue of Eastern Mediterranean.

“The chancellor considers it her own personal issue to prevent military conflict, to bring about de-escalation and a peaceful delimitation of the maritime zones. The chancellor has had some success, so far. The research vessel Oruc Reis withdrew from Kastellorizo last weekend and, if we succeed, very soon we will pass to the next stage, which is the start of the so-called exploratory contacts," Reichel said during his speech according to Greek press.