Friday September 19, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
27o C
19o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
The wrong foreign policy stance

By Paschos Mandravelis

Back when socialism was flourishing in Greece – despite being a local version of Tony Blair’s Third Way – we still found it hard to give up our exceptionalist habits concerning foreign policy. It was the time when PASOK began to gravitate toward realism, when it began to really believe that Greece belongs in the West. However, PASOK also had a nationalist wing (which imagined alliances with Libya and other “progressive” countries), and in order to placate it, party leader Andreas Papandreou conjured up the near-farcical concept of adding footnotes to the joint statements of the then-EEC and NATO.

In 1983, the USSR committed a heinous crime when it brought down a Korean Air Lines plane carrying 269 people, among whom were 22 children under the age of 12. The entire world was aghast, with the exception of the anti-imperialist Greeks and a handful of communists in different parts of the world.

In order to justify the Soviet atrocity, a series of conspiracy theories emerged suggesting that the airplane was being used for espionage purposes (even though it was shot down over the sea) and that all 269 people on board (including the children) were imperialist agents, and other such rubbish. Every country condemned the Soviet leadership, with the exception of Greece, which persisted with its “independent” stance on foreign policy – in short meaning doing the opposite of what everyone else was doing – a stance that has cost us greatly over the years.

SYRIZA today appears to espouse a similar stance regarding Greek foreign policy. In a recent announcement, the leftist opposition party called on the government to press for a lifting of sanctions against Russia. The party argued that the European Union-imposed sanctions, “with the participation of [Prime Minister Antonis] Samaras and [Foreign Minister Evangelos] Venizelos,” will in no way contribute to a de-escalation of the crisis in Ukraine, but, in contrast, appear to be “heightening it into an open commercial and economic war of which, unfortunately, Greece is a part.”

So what if Russian President Vladimir Putin has turned Crimea into that region’s breakaway northern Cyprus? So what if separatists shoot down passenger planes with anti-aircraft missiles provided by Moscow? So what if, as sources suggest, Putin is amassing troops east of the Ukrainian border? The Pavlovian anti-imperialist reaction compels SYRIZA to adopt the destructive – as Papandreou himself later admitted – approach of Greek isolationism.

We don’t know if history repeats itself as farce, but the tough question for Greece today is what the farce of the asterisks in regards to EU policy will mean for the country in the long run.

ekathimerini.com , Saturday August 9, 2014 (13:59)  
High stakes after the Scottish vote
Greek society’s and lenders’ fatigue
Legitimacy control
Loud patriotism
Homeless man falls to death from shelter in central Athens
A man aged between 40 and 45 years old fell to his death from the fourth floor of a homeless shelter in central Athens on Friday morning. Authorities said they suspect that the homeless man,...
Syntagma metro station to close for Fyssas tribute concert
Syntagma metro station will be closed from 4 p.m. on Friday due to a concert that will be held in the square to mark the one-year anniversary of rapper Pavlos Fyssas’s murder by a Golden Daw...
Inside News
ECB eyes banks’ capital quality as target for supervisory power
The European Central Bank may use its regulatory clout to make sure euro-area lenders are adding the right kind of capital, not just the right amount. Policy makers say banks have added almo...
EIB signs deals with Greece for 815-mln investment in infrastructure projects
Greece has signed five finance agreements totalling 815 million euros with the European Investment Bank (EIB) ranging from highway projects to the Thessaloniki metro. “With this strong shot ...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Triumph for PAOK, historic result for Asteras in Europa League
Greek teams produced a patchy record on the opening night of the Europa League group stage on Thursday, as PAOK thrashed Dynamo Minsk, Asteras Tripolis snatched a draw at Besiktas and Panath...
SOCCER
Financial crisis forces Greek second division postponement
Greece's second soccer division Football League announced on Wednesday the postponement of the start of the season due to financial difficulties being faced by most clubs. "The board of dire...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Homeless man falls to death from shelter in central Athens
2. Syntagma metro station to close for Fyssas tribute concert
3. Samaras heads to Azerbaijan for two-day visit
4. Dozens of arrests at march to mark anniversary of Fyssas murder
5. ECB eyes banks’ capital quality as target for supervisory power
6. EIB signs deals with Greece for 815-mln investment in infrastructure projects
more news
Today
This Week
1. ECB eyes banks’ capital quality as target for supervisory power
2. EIB signs deals with Greece for 815-mln investment in infrastructure projects
3. Samaras heads to Azerbaijan for two-day visit
4. Dozens of arrests at march to mark anniversary of Fyssas murder
5. Syntagma metro station to close for Fyssas tribute concert
6. Homeless man falls to death from shelter in central Athens
Today
This Week
1. Greece on standby
2. Greece at bottom of social justice scale among EU28
3. Central Athens traffic restrictions back in force on Monday
4. Lost in the fog
5. Democracy under Pressure | Live Streaming
6. SYRIZA spokesman suggests gov't sought to stop NERIT airing Tsipras speech live
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.