Monday May 25, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
D-Day and the battle for Europe

By Nikos Konstandaras

Seventy years ago, 156,000 Allied soldiers began their battle for a beachhead on the coast of Normandy, setting off a sequence of events which, along with the advance of Soviet forces in the east, would result in the defeat of German forces which occupied Europe from France to Greece. June 6, 1944, is one of the most important days in the history of our blood-soaked continent. Today, 17 heads of state will take part in memorial services on one of the beaches where thousands of young men died in the effort to turn the tide of war.

What no one could predict in 1944 was that D-Day would lead to the longest period of peace, stability and prosperity that Europe has known. Nor could they imagine that the devotion to peace that was born in the flames of war would be in danger 70 years later – not because of some new military threat but because of the carelessness of leaders who themselves never knew war.

After D-Day, the most important date on the European calendar is July 23, 1952, when the European Coal and Steel Community was established. One year earlier – just six years after the end of World War II – France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands had agreed to join in peace and put an end to endless war. The six former enemies were the nucleus of today’s European Union with its 28 member states. Another monumental year was 1989, when the Soviet Bloc collapsed, leading to the accession of eight former Soviet satellites to the EU in May 2004.

Today, 10 years later, the European Union is in crisis. Many member states are in great economic difficulty; deflation, unemployment and debt (public and private) threaten the eurozone; widening inequality between member states and between social groups is reawakening tensions that were dormant in the years of growth and prosperity, threatening the cohesion of the bloc and of many of its members. Looking for ways to ensure their peoples’ welfare even as debt makes this impossible, the EU’s leaders are trapped: On the one hand, they understand the need to strengthen the Union in order to save it, on the other, greater numbers of voters are being seduced by calls for isolationism. Besides these “domestic” issues, the EU is also losing ground on the geostrategic level. The United States’ military and technological hegemony, the economic rise of China and Russia’s hardball politics all contribute to a feeling that the EU is continually losing influence. Its political forces are fragmenting – as is the vision of a Union that can keep improving the lives of its citizens.

The few surviving veterans who will be in Normandy today can be proud of the part they played in what led to a great political, economic and social triumph. The heads of state who will be with them – will they understand that the battle which began then has not ended?

ekathimerini.com , Thursday June 5, 2014 (19:26)  
The good news and the bad
Geopolitical threats
Neither Grexit nor a dual currency will solve Greece’s problems
First aid for the capital
Varoufakis slams media over Riga Eurogroup reporting
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis on Sunday admitted he had recorded a euro zone finance ministers meeting and criticised media for reporting «lies and innuendos» on what transpired at...
Greeks back government´s red lines, but want to keep euro
Cash-strapped Greeks remain supportive of the leftist government's tough negotiating style, according to a new poll published Sunday, but hope for a deal with creditors that will keep the eu...
Inside News
ANALYSIS
VAT adjustment is the way forward
The Greek government’s hope for a political solution and a staff-level agreement on the program review by the end of May is looking increasingly unlikely. To the extent that a piecemeal appr...
Tender for Thriasio freight center to restart next month
The tender process for the Thriasio freight center is about to restart, with candidate investors set to receive the terms so that there may be tangible progress by end-June. If everything go...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Berg brace gives Panathinaikos four-point lead
Panathinaikos beat Atromitos on Sunday and took advantage of the goalless draw between PAOK and Asteras Tripolis to open a four-point gap from PAOK at the top of the Super League play-off mi...
SOCCER
Reds add Cup to league trophy with 3-1 win over Xanthi
Olympiakos completed a league-and-cup double on Saturday by beating Xanthi 3-1 in the Greek Cup final at the Olympic Stadium of Athens, that was more balanced than the final score suggests. ...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Berg brace gives Panathinaikos four-point lead
2. VAT adjustment is the way forward
3. Tender for Thriasio freight center to restart next month
4. Varoufakis slams media over Riga Eurogroup reporting
5. Banks fear NPL sum will reach 100 bln euros
6. Socar has found a way to opt out of the DESFA deal
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greeks back government's red lines, but want to keep euro
2. Greece does not have the money to make June IMF repayment, warns interior minister
3. The good news and the bad
4. SYRIZA seeks new relationship with police
5. Solving islands' water problems would take 66.4 mln euros, study finds
6. Geopolitical threats
Today
This Week
1. The Greek-German breakthrough that didn’t come
2. Conspiracy madness
3. Greece came close to not paying IMF
4. National self-awareness put to the test
5. Albanian demarche raises concerns about possible territorial claims over Greece
6. Greek endgame nears for Tsipras as bank collateral hits buffers
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.