Barroso Not Optimistic for EU-Turkey Talks

ROME–European commission president Jos Manuel Barroso told Il Corriere della Sera he fears talks with Turkey could be stopped. "I am sorry to say this but things are going badly," he continued. "Reforms in Turkey are going forward very slowly and I do not see the progress I would have expected. We hope the Finns can help avoid the break off in negotiations but I really am very worried." EU enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn warned Ankara it faces a "train crash" if it fails to implement customs union with Cyprus and speed up democratic reforms. The European parliament has said Turkey has until the end of the year to change its line on Cyprus or face the derailment of talks. And in some of the strongest language from Cyprus yet, the country’s president Tassos Papadopoulos urged Turkey not to dictate or impose conditions on the EU. Tensions are running high as the EU executive prepares to draw up its next progress report on Turkey on November 8. Until Turkey complies with full customs union, Cyprus says it will use its EU veto to block the opening of any new negotiating chapters with Turkey.

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