01 OCT 2010
By Andrew Willis
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Austrian, French and German opposition to Turkey joining the European Union will melt away with time, Germany's ex-foreign minister Joschka Fischer has predicted.
Speaking to EUobserver on the margins of an event to launch a Council of Europe 'Group of Eminent Persons' in Brussels on Thursday (30 September), he said a growing realisation that Europe needs to replenish its aging workforce is already altering perceptions and that it is Turkey, not the EU, which might ultimately jettison accession plans.
"We may knock on the doors of Ankara and there may be nobody home," Mr Fischer warned.
"If you look at France and Germany, you don't need to be a prophet to see things will change," he added. "Europe's future economy will depend on its openness. We need immigration, that's the maths of it. Either we Europeans wake up or we become poorer."
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