Wednesday October 22, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
24o C
11o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Greece in a changing world

Protesters shout slogans during a rally outside the Russian Embassy in Athens on Saturday. The protesters held banners that read ĎAbhazia - Ossetia - Crimea this is how Hitler startedí and placards with the image of Vladimir Putin with a Hitler-style mustache.

By Alexis Papachelas

Itís still too early to make predictions or draw conclusions about the Ukraine crisis. But some points can be made on the ways Greece is affected in a narrow geopolitical sense.

The first thing is that any natural gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean are crucial to Europe, particularly Germany and the northern nations, as the Ukraine crisis has emphatically exposed Europeís energy dependence on Russia. It will take years, and many billions of euros, but northern Europeans need to hammer out a contingency plan as soon as possible. This will have major repercussions on the region and will impact on the exploration and transfer of Eastern Mediterranean gas to Europe.

Second, the West has proved incapable of dealing with the crisis in Ukraine. It backed forces that seriously diverged from the values and principles of the EU, and when Moscow took action, Europe and America were caught unawares. More experienced observers had voiced concerns but their warnings fell on the deaf ears of policymakers who underestimated Russiaís role. Realpolitik was lost on them.

Third, the US is taking some distance from the strategic role it has played over the past 70 years. It can no longer afford the financial and other costs from meaningless and destructive engagements like Iraq. For its part, Europe has little understanding of the concept of hard power, often behaving like an NGO pitched against relentless players.

The world is becoming multi-polar because nature is allergic to voids. China has found a renewed self-confidence and it shows. Israel is ignoring the US and more or less doing what it likes, Iran is playing a game of its own and Russia is getting ready to take the lead on the global chessboard. In that context, itís extremely hard to predict what will happen in the Persian Gulf where some of the old kingdoms are crumbling, or in Syria and other states where western myopia has created several dangerous black holes.

Fourth, Greece has its own interests. In one sense, instability is good for Greece as it becomes more important to support the country and ensure that it does not degenerate into a failed state. Europeans need to understand that geopolitics comes before numbers. Late Greek statesman Constantine Karamanlis used to say that Greece belongs to the West, yet he never turned his back on Russia because he knew that a hooked fish has no leverage. At the same time, we should understand that outside interventions to protect minorities is something that Athens cannot back indiscriminately.

In any case, it is important to know where Greece should turn to in case of emergency. The reaction of our European peers in case of a crisis here would be of historic importance.

ekathimerini.com , Sunday March 9, 2014 (16:24)  
The ECB collateral for Greece must be lowered to 5 pct
The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
Self-opposing coalition
Gutsy rectors
Archaeologists find missing head of Amphipolis sphinx
Archaeologists digging at a tomb dating to the era of Alexander the Great in ancient Amphipolis in northern Greece have found the missing head of one of the two sphinxes guarding the entranc...
Coalition leaders prepare for troika amid sour mood
A dispute between New Democracy and PASOK over civil servantsí salaries continued Tuesday, underlining the big task facing Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos ...
Inside News
Credit sector officials sleeping easy ahead of stress test results
Analysts, investment banks and institutional investors appear optimistic regarding the results of the European Central Bank stress tests on local lenders, which has been mirrored in the perf...
Certainty on primary surplus target
The state budgetís primary surplus beat expectations by almost a billion euros in the first nine months of the year, General Accounting Office data confirmed on Tuesday, but tax revenues and...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
PAOK fans stop coach Markopoulosīs move to Olympiakos
Olympiakos is once again in the lookout for a new coach after the refusal of PAOK to release Soulis Markopoulos, while Panathinaikos defeated Kolossos on Rhodes on Monday to become the only ...
BASKETBALL
Reds lose to Nea Kifissia, search for new coach
Nea Kifissia recorded the biggest win of its short history in the top flight defeating Olympiakos 68-67 on Sunday, in a Basket League weekend marred by the abandonment of the Thessaloniki de...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
†RECENT NEWS
1. Credit sector officials sleeping easy ahead of stress test results
2. Certainty on primary surplus target
3. Feverish talks on payment plan proposals
4. TUI promises even more tourists
5. Archaeologists find missing head of Amphipolis sphinx
6. Coalition leaders prepare for troika amid sour mood
more news
Today
This Week
1. The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
2. Gang importing heroin into Greece busted
3. Self-opposing coalition
4. Greece said to seek tailor-made plan for bailout exit
5. Gutsy rectors
6. Applications for heating oil subsidy set to start
Today
This Week
1. Possible third figure in Amphipolis mosaic may be uncovered shortly
2. Istanbul skyscraper casts shadow over Greece's banking ambitions
3. Coalition shooting itself in the foot
4. GPO poll gives SYRIZA clear lead over New Democracy
5. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
6. Samarasís crumbling Greek exit lacks backing from economists
†††Find us ...
††... on
Twitter
†† ††... on Facebook ††
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.