Extreme natural phenomena have had a crippling effect on Greece in the past few months, coming at it with fires and floods and exposing tragic failures in getting the state mechanism to do its job at every level.
The downing by an American fighter jet of a Chinese “unmanned civilian balloon” – in Beijing’s version of events – which Washington insists was used by the Chinese military for spying, is an amateur rendition of a much older incident.
If there is a quality that characterizes the Greek nation, it is the ability to survive the tumults of history and float above its waves. It is precisely this ability that will be tested in 2023. And – according to some – Greek-Turkish relations may be the most serious issue that will be decided.
In a letter dated June 5, 1963 and addressed to the elderly Turkish prime minister Ismet Inonu, US President Lyndon Johnson sought to avert a military invasion of Cyprus by threatening that in the case of a Soviet attack, the United States and NATO would not come to Ankara’s aid.
The quotes about politics and politicians that have been formulated over the centuries are endless. On the occasion of the ousting of Boris Johnson from the office of prime minister, following the action of a group of government ministers, an experienced British conservative recalled an aphorism formulated by Conservative minister Enoch Powell years ago, when he argued that “all political lives… end in failure.”
If over 30 years ago the Soviet Union was the “Evil Empire” which systematically planned the destabilization of Western Europe by utilizing the services of the communist parties of Europe and the broader Left, today it is the Right that is accused by democratic forces of being the bearer of the interests of Russia and and its president, Vladimir Putin.
Just a few days ago we heard Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias advise Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the days of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent are over and with them the visions of conquered lands that appear to have the Turkish president so firmly in their grips.
It was June 6, 1867 as Greek Ambassador to Washington Rizos Rangavis wore his most official attire to present his credentials to US President Andrew Johnson, who had just taken over following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
The Greek government’s decision to call a halt to the dialogue with Turkey in response to a barrage of airspace violations was a knee-jerk reaction intended to send a message of condemnation. Unfortunately, it was also without result.
When the Greek War of Independence broke out 201 years ago in March 1821, we Greeks were on the “wrong side of history,” shaped as it was by the rulers of Europe, but we were “on the side of justice and liberty.”
After US President Joe Biden had made clear in his short speech last Tuesday that the United States would not go to war to defend Ukraine, his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin set into motion his plan, which had long been in preparation, to invade the former Soviet republic.