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European politician says EU cannot ignore public fears on Turkey
2006-05-09 11:50:06

Brussels, May 9 - European People's Party and European Democrats (EPP-ED) leader in the European Parliament Mr. Hans-Gert Poettering said last Tuesday that the European Union should listen seriously the large majority of its citizens which is against Turkey's membership.

''There is a large majority (in the EU) against Turkish membership and we have to take this seriously,'' Mr. Poettering told Reuters in an interview.

He added that ''we cannot automatically say now, even if Turkey fulfils all the criteria set down, the result will be Turkish membership,'' noting that Turkey would get a big thumbs-down across Europe if national referendums on entry were held now.

Mr. Poettering is favourite to succeed Spanish socialist Josep Borrell as President of the European Parliament in January.

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