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    Austria puts a spanner in the works

    Hürriyet Haber
    30.09.2005 - 09:48 | Son Güncelleme: 30.09.2005 - 09:48

    Just days before EU accession talks are due to begin with Turkey, Austria has walked away from the table demanding that the EU's formal invitation to Turkey to join the EU be rewritten. Austria is demanding that the invitation include a special clause that says the Union can block the membership "if the Union is not in a position to absorb Turkey." The Austrian ambassador left the meeting, which was chaired by the British, just one hour after it had begun on Thursday when talks failed to find a solution to the request.

    The failed talks have now pushed the UK to call an emergency meeting for Sunday night, just 24 hours before the Turkish delegation is due to arrive in Brussels.

    Turkey has said repeatedly that should any more conditions be imposed on their membership entry that they are ready to walk away from negotiations for good.

    The move to accept Turkey into the Union is a chance for the bloc to show that they are not just a Christian club – as they have been called in the past – and an opportunity to bridge the ever extending gap between the East and West, as Turkey although secular is a predominantly Muslim country with a population of 70 million.

    The Austrian chancellor, Wolfgang Schussel, said that Turkey should be offered a clear alternative to full membership.

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