Austria – Austrian Chancellor Kern wants to put an end to the negotiations over the accession to the EU of Turkey. Relations between the two countries have seriously deteriorated.
Many changes have taken place in relations between Austria and Turkey within a few months. In May, the Austrian government has changed and late July, a coup attempt took place in Turkey, involving a massive purge of the state apparatus.
More opposed to immigration, the new government of Chancellor Kern, yet Social Democrat, is strongly opposed to the entry of Turkey into the European Union. Kern did even judge that Turkish membership, currently, would be “fictional”. “No. Not now, nor in the coming decades.”
Austrian Chancellor, however, focuses on the economy. This is not only because of Erdogan “and all the problematic developments on the democratic level”. For Kern, “economic disparities” are a greater problem: for the Chancellor, giving the Turks the free movement of goods, services, capital and people would lead “towards major economic distortions that are no longer defensible in Europe”.
The German newspaper die Welt is concerned about a deterioration of relations with Turkey, a close partner of Germany, particularly in the management of the crisis of migrants by Merkel. This echoes to the threats of the Turkish government which was made in late July to break the migration pact with the EU if it would not institute the end of visas for Turkish nationals by the end of October 2016.
Displeased by the Austrian position, the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu called Vienna the “capital of radical racism.” The Turkish ambassador was summoned by the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian Foreign Minister reacted to the remarks by suggesting Ankara to “moderate its words and its domestic policy”. Finally, the Austrian Defence Minister, Hans-Peter Doskozil, compared the Turkish regime to a “dictatorship”.