Papandreou fury at EU 'anti-Greek' campaign

Relations between Greece and its 14 European Union allies have plunged this week to perhaps their lowest point since Andreas Papandreou, the socialist Prime Minister, won re-election in October 1993. Mr Papandreou, 76, returned to Athens from the EU summit in Cannes expressing outrage at what he called "an orchestrated campaign" mounted against Greece by other European countries, notably France.

Mr Papandreou, who served as prime minister from 1981 to 1989, said he had "never felt such a stranger within the EU" as at Cannes. Diplomats from other EU countries said he felt insulted at the way President Jacques Chirac of France, the summit host, had publicly criticised Greek policies on Tuesday at an end-of-summit news conference.

Mr Chirac, a centre-right Gaullist, laid into Mr Papandreou for breaking ranks with his EU allies and imposing a trade embargo on the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, a country that Greece refuses to recognise on the grounds that its name and flag imply a claim to Greek territory. Mr Chirac also annoyed Mr Papandreou by saying it was time for the EU to develop a closer relationship with Turkey, Greece's main rival.

Greece's foreign ministry spokesman, Constantine Bikas, responded to Mr Chirac's criticisms yesterday by deriding the French leader's understanding of Turkish politics. Referring to Turkey's Prime Minister, Tansu Ciller, Mr Bikas said: "We consider that the logic of unconditional support for Ciller so that [Islamic] fundamentalism does not prevail is simplistic and dangerous."

He continued: "We believe that the same kind of simplistic mistake was made in the 1930s. Humanity paid a heavy price for supporting Nazism in order to contain Bolshevism."

Even before the Cannes summit, Mr Chirac and Mr Papandreou had locked horns. At a dinner for EU leaders in Paris on 9 June, the Greek leader was talking about the right of Serbs to defend their Orthodox faith in former Yugoslavia when Mr Chirac interrupted: "Don't talk to me about wars of religion. These people have no faith and know no law. They are terrorists."

Stung by his treatment at Cannes, Mr Papandreou told reporters that the Greek people should prepare themselves for battle against "decisions taken by the triumvirate of big powers" - presumably France, Germany and Britain, all of which have centre-right governments. But sympathy for Mr Papandreou seems restrained even among his fellow socialist leaders in the EU.

Spain's Prime Minister, Felipe Gonzalez, a socialist who will replace Mr Chirac as head of the EU's presidency on 1 July, made clear he supported the French proposal to cultivate closer ties with Turkey. A scornful Mr Papandreou said: "Mr Gonzalez has identified himself with neo-liberalism. The only socialist thing left is the name of his party."

The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
Life and Style

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
Northern soul mecca the Wigan Casino
fashionGone are the punks, casuals, new romantics, ravers, skaters, crusties. Now all kids look the same
Life and Style

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Year 5 Teacher

£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...

Software Developer

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...

Systems Analyst / Business Analyst - Central London

£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...

Senior Change Engineer (Network, Cisco, Juniper) £30k

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Senior Change ...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album