Monday October 20, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
24o C
16o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
The dangers of national division

By Nikos Konstandaras

The march of extremist Islamist fighters on Baghdad and the tearing down of border posts between Iraq and Syria surprise us with their speed. We are not used to seeing such changes on the map, as the years after World War II were devoted to avoiding any change of borders. But after Russia’s recent annexation of Crimea, while fighting rages between separatists and government troops in eastern Ukraine, after Kosovo was recognized as independent by a large number of countries, it is clear that the world is in a phase of great change. It is urgent that we look at how our country will chart its course.

In Iraq, if government forces do not take control of the lost territory, it is likely that the latest events will confirm the dismemberment of the country that began with the Kurds declaring an autonomous region. Theirs is the most stable and most prosperous part of Iraq and the swift surge of Kurdish fighters into Kirkuk when government forces abandoned the city will strengthen their position; the Kurds consider oil-rich Kirkuk an integral part of their homeland and were involved in a bitter dispute with the government over it. They will not leave easily. The Baghdad government, which is widely seen to represent the country’s Shiite majority, will not find it easy to take back territory from the Sunni rebels, if we can judge by the fact that Fallujah in western Iraq has been under rebel control for the past six months. Without a government that can inspire confidence in all parts of the population, without credible institutions, in a region that has been in turmoil for years, it is quite possible that the new divisions in Iraq, Syria and further afield may become permanent.

Perhaps the changes on the map of the Middle East may correct borders drawn by European colonial powers a century ago amid the ruins of the Ottoman Empire. It is more likely, though, that they will be the start of widespread chaos, as a great crescent through the region’s heart, on the borders of Turkey, in the neighborhood of Cyprus and Greece, will be under the control of extremists, continually exporting violence and refugees. The danger cannot be dealt with by solitary countries, it demands collective action. The United States, though, appraising the ruins of their policy in Iraq and Afghanistan, with an eye on growing dangers in the Far East, will not want to enter the Mideast fray again. The United Nations will not take drastic decisions leading to military action. The European Union is caught up in dangerous navel-gazing, questioning all that it has achieved.

The field is open for those who are most determined to achieve their aims. The division between Greece’s political forces, the lack of an active pursuit of regional alliances, means that we are even more exposed to every danger.

ekathimerini.com , Thursday June 12, 2014 (20:32)  
Stop moaning and get in the game
Exorcising the ghosts
Greece’s closed society is central to its current malaise
Between West and East
Health Ministry looking to hire 4,000 new staff
The Health Ministry wants to hire 4,000 permanent staff, including 1,500 state hospital doctors, next year. It made a written request to the Administrative Reform Ministry on Monday as appro...
Parliament´s draft budget sees reduction of some 2 mln euros
Parliament’s budget for next year has been reduced by almost 2 million euros to 139.9 million, according to a draft unveiled on Monday. Of the total amount, 20.5 million euros is for MPs’ pa...
Inside News
Fresh growth for banks buoys Athens benchmark higher
Greek stocks continued along the path toward recovery on Monday after the big sell-off observed last week, as banks appear increasingly confident ahead of the announcement of the stress test...
Greek 5-year yields rise 55 bps to 7.62 pct
German bunds advanced and Greek securities declined on Monday, extending losses that sparked a sell-off in the periphery last week. Greek five-year yields rose 55 basis points to 7.62 percen...
Inside Business
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...
SOCCER
OFI stuns Panathinaikos, Mitroglou hits twice
OFI Crete produced the upset of the week in Greek soccer beating Panathinaikos in Athens for only the second time in its history on Sunday, while PAOK stayed on top beating Atromitos at home...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Health Ministry looking to hire 4,000 new staff
2. Parliament´s draft budget sees reduction of some 2 mln euros
3. Trial of GD members accused of 2012 attack postponed to April
4. Stavros Niarchos Foundation donates 26.8 million to social projects
5. Fresh growth for banks buoys Athens benchmark higher
6. Greek 5-year yields rise 55 bps to 7.62 pct
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
2. Bakers encircle Thessaloniki's White Tower with giant 'koulouri'
3. Turkish vessel enters Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone
4. European leaders pivot back to debt crisis after wake-up call
5. Hardouvelis does not see 'big surprises' in ECB stress tests
6. Samaras to visit Cyprus on November 7, ahead of Egypt talks
Today
This Week
1. Possible third figure in Amphipolis mosaic may be uncovered shortly
2. Less haste, more focus
3. Greece to contribute 1 mln towards Gaza reconstruction
4. Greece nearing bailout exit, says gov't spokesperson after IMF talks
5. Istanbul skyscraper casts shadow over Greece's banking ambitions
6. Coalition shooting itself in the foot
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.