Wednesday September 3, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
28o C
22o 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)  
Poise matters
The right decision
Politicized archaeology
Moderating expectations
Greek academics say anti-racism bill risks interference with freedom of expression
More than one hundred Greek historians and academics have expressed reservations over aspects of draft legislation designed to outlaw Holocaust denial and expand prosecution powers against t...
Report points to suspicious clinic charges to EOPYY
A quarter of all the expenses submitted last year by private health clinics to EOPYY, the country’s largest healthcare provider, have been deemed suspicious and in need of further investigat...
Inside News
Helexpo sell-off plan to be ready by mid-October
Helexpo, the state company that organizes major exhibitions such as the Thessaloniki International Fair, is in the last stages of drawing up its privatization plan. Sources say that the prop...
Maniatis talks energy with Washington’s man in Athens
Energy Minister Yiannis Maniatis held a meeting yesterday with US Ambassador in Athens David D. Pearce to discuss possible natural gas supply problems that Europe may face this winter due to...
Inside Business
Grateful Saviola thanks Olympiakos, joins Verona
Former Argentina international Javier Saviola has thanked Greek champions Olympiakos for the "beautiful moments" during his season-long stint in Greece as he left the club to join Serie A ou...
SOCCER
Greece defender Papadopoulos fires parting shot at Michel
International defender Avraam Papadopoulos suddenly quit Olympiakos on Monday to join Turkish club Trabzonspor, and fired a parting shot at Olympiakos manager Michel putting the blame on the...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Greek academics say anti-racism bill risks interference with freedom of expression
2. Helexpo sell-off plan to be ready by mid-October
3. Maniatis talks energy with Washington’s man in Athens
4. Task force to examine cases of extreme taxation, customs issues
5. Hotels hike prices by 10 pct in H1 of 2014
6. Pension system nears breaking point
more news
Today
This Week
1. Poise matters
2. The right decision
3. Greek academics say anti-racism bill risks interference with freedom of expression
4. Politicized archaeology
5. Rain and storms with hail expected in many parts of Greece
6. Reforms to dominate Greek talks in Paris, debt relief talks later, says source
Today
This Week
1. Thessaloniki mayor Boutaris sworn in wearing yellow star amid Golden Dawn protests
2. The battle against progress
3. Strong undersea quake occurs off island of Milos, felt in Athens
4. Hardouvelis, ECB executive discuss bank program, stress tests
5. Greek quest for debt relief faces hurdles in Paris
6. Prospect of Greek grand prix back on the agenda; huge investment needed
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.