Same old mistakes

COMMENT

The Imia crisis that brought Greece and Turkey to the brink of war in 1996 over a cluster of uninhabited islets in the eastern Aegean made it more than clear that whoever is in government in Athens should try to avoid any serious friction with Ankara, or, failing that, take immediate steps to curb the consequences.

No government official has the right to adopt positions or make moves that could have serious consequences on national security, especially without having first consulted all the relevant ministries and services. Nor do they have the right to announce future initiatives that have not been previously agreed or planned, possibly stirring trouble in bilateral relations.

We thought that the Greek state had learned its lesson from that difficult period 20 years ago and knew better than to repeat the mistakes of the past. It appears that we may have been wrong.

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