Friday August 22, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
32o C
25o 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 ‘Abhazia - Ossetia - Crimea this is how Hitler started’ and placards with the image of Vladimir Putin with a Hitler-style mustache.

By Alexis Papachelas

It’s 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 Europe’s 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 Russia’s 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, it’s 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)  
Nationalism on steroids
Time to kick a stupid habit
Self-destructing political system
Welcome movement
Hardouvelis hears grievances of coalition MPS to unified property tax bill
Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis on Friday briefed MPs from junior coalition partner PASOK on the proposed improvements to a contentious unified property tax, known by its acronym ENFIA, a...
Avramopoulos, Hagel hammer out ´roadmap´ of defense cooperation
Defense Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos emphasized, after talks with his American counterpart Chuck Hagel late on Thursday, the "truly excellent level of the Hellenic-American defence coopera...
Inside News
Spanish government bonds rise with Italy´s before Draghi speech
Spanish government bonds rose, with 10-year yields approaching a record low, amid speculation European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will reiterate the need for accommodative monetary ...
Greek peach farmers await Brussels decision on compensation
Greece's peach and nectarine producers were on tenterhooks on Friday, awaiting the outcome of a summit of agricultural experts in Brussels which is expected to determine the size of the comp...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Panathinaikos, Asteras Tripolis notch up vital wins in Europa League
Thursday proved a very productive night for two of the three Greek teams performing in the Europa League as Panathinaikos and Asteras Tripolis secured vital wins in the first legs of their p...
SOCCER
Greek soccer officials in refereeing probe to face prosecutor on Sept 15
Eleven soccer officials were on Wednesday given until September 15 before they have to face prosecutor Aristidis Koreas, who is investigating allegations that the draws to decide which match...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Hardouvelis hears grievances of coalition MPS to unified property tax bill
2. Avramopoulos, Hagel hammer out ´roadmap´ of defense cooperation
3. Spanish government bonds rise with Italy´s before Draghi speech
4. Greek peach farmers await Brussels decision on compensation
5. Justice Minister seeks postponement to debate in Parl´t of anti-racism bill
6. Coast guard intercepts 180 migrants in Aegean in two days
more news
Today
This Week
1. Coast guard intercepts 180 migrants in Aegean in two days
2. Aftershocks rattle Halkidiki after strong 5-Richter quake
3. Avramopoulos, Hagel hammer out 'roadmap' of defense cooperation
4. Greek peach farmers await Brussels decision on compensation
5. Spanish government bonds rise with Italy's before Draghi speech
6. Justice Minister seeks postponement to debate in Parl't of anti-racism bill
Today
This Week
1. Carved sphinxes at Ancient Amphipolis tomb will not be removed
2. Treating Amphipolis with care
3. Canada’s fiscal adjustment has lessons for Greece
4. Greece to offer law on restructuring bad loans next month
5. Ministry sys ‘no’ to debt collection agencies
6. The magical mountain
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.