Thursday, January 03, 2008

Fear or being misinformed?

Below you will find a comment, published on TDN forum, of a British friend of mine who lives in the Netherlands.
I don't say that I agree or disagree with him, but it shows how bad the Turkish Republic is doing its PR, relying on the USA to enter the EU.

Very often you hear (mostly Turkish) diplomats telling the world just how strategically (militarily) important Turkey is for the security of Europe and especially the EU.
Nope! The EU is not looking for an extra army. These people sometimes forget that there are enough nuclear powers in the EU, not to speak of far more advanced armies as it is already.

There is also this story about being 'a bridge between the West and the Muslim world'. Nope! EU has it's own institutions and channels for this. They don't need some kind of broker or middle man. Anyway the Turks will never be accepted by the Arabs as a go between.

How about Turkey being the most important energy hub for the EU? Nope! Useful but not the most important. Again the EU has it’s own institutions and channels for this and again there is no need of yet another broker.

Then you have the story about how beneficial Turkey’s accession would be for the job markets in the EU, how this would solve the social welfare costs for the aging population of Europe.

Turkey’s accession would be for the job markets in the EU, how this would solve the social welfare costs for the aging population of Europe. Nope!

Truth is, is that although unemployment in the EU is at an all time low, still more than the half of the social welfare recipients in the EU are immigrants (1st 2nd and even 3rd generation) from outside the EU. A big proportion of them are Turks (or shall we say Turkish passport holders). Why should this trend change once Turkey is in the EU? They will just create an even bigger burden on the tax payers then they do now.

Its up to you to comment.

Shnorhavor Nor Tari!

I'm a bit late, but this is the first time in five days or so that I am online. I wish all of you a very happy, successful and peaceful 2008!

In Armenia the "holiday season" only really started on the 31st and will last for another week or so. Christmas is celebrated according to the Orthodox calendar on January 6 and then what is called the 'Old New Year' on January 13.

However, the real New Year is much bigger than Christmas and the celebrations last about a week starting from January 1st. So this whole week is a week off for almost everyone, including me. New Year's Eve is usually celebrated at home with family, but from January 1st people visit their friends, neighbors and relatives and eat and drink a lot. In every house there is a table filled with food and drinks standing ready for use because at any given moment guests can show up.

This can be lots of fun, but the downside of this is that many people spend more than they can afford on their New Year's table. A friend who has a shop in a small town in the north of Armenia once told me that all the money he makes in the run-up to New Year has to last him until April, because until then people just don't have money to spend. A taxi-driver in Yerevan told me the other day that for taxi's it is basically the same: For quite some weeks after New Year business is slower than usual, because people just don't have money to spend.

I'm off to another food fest at friends!

Day Opening - January 3

More pictures of Maarssen.