Socialist EDEK is considering leaving the European Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), a political group in the European Parliament, a party official told the Cyprus Mail, following a reported snub by former S&D leader and current European Parliament president Martin Schulz.
Reports from Brussels said that Schulz stepped in at the eleventh hour to prevent a floor discussion at the European Parliament on Turkey’s shenanigans around the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
“The party is furious over this. While we are still trying to figure out exactly what transpired, we are certainly very disappointed that the discussion didn’t take place,” said the official, adding that leaving the political group was being considered as an option. EDEK’s MEP Demetris Papadakis is a member of the S&D.
“Look, this is a major step. Decisions like this are not taken lightly. But it is on the table. It’s not an option that gathers a lot of support but we have to consider it,” said the official.
EDEK is more likely to either issue a statement condemning Schulz’s actions, or put the issue forward for a second time at the EP.
EDEK, a long-time member of the S&D, had previously received assurances that the socialists would allow the discussion on the EU parliament floor – which would probably have ended with a resolution condemning Turkey. Even S&D head Gianni Pittella had previously publicly criticised Turkey for its actions.
The EDEK official said they needed to figure out exactly what happened, before making any decisions. “We need to know. At the time we only have reports on the matter and no official confirmation. There is even the possibility this was a procedural thing. The agenda already had discussion on Ebola and the situation in Kobani so there is a possibility there wasn’t enough time. As I said, we need to get all the facts straight.”
MEP Papadakis will hold a press conference on Saturday to address the issue.
The proposal was put forward by the European United Left – Nordic Green Left (GUE-NGL) and was supported by the largest political group in the parliament, the European People’s Party (EPP).
The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) party also reportedly shot down the proposal.
S&D turning its back on EDEK is especially embarrassing for House President and head of EDEK Yiannakis Omirou, who met with Schulz on Wednesday and was assured of his cooperation.
Omirou joined Twitter – Omirou @yiannomirou – only three days ago and on Wednesday tweeted that he was “satisfied by the response he got from EP President Martin Schultz”. Omirou proceeded to tweet a picture with the two of them shaking hands.
The government has yet to officially respond on the matter.
Source: Cyprus Mail By Constantinos Psillides