OPINION

Willful blindness

willful-blindness

If, hypothetically, one was to draw a list of the challenges facing the country, none of our political leaders would think to place the Lignadis and Koufodinas affairs in a prominent position. But, unfortunately, this is what is happening.

Of course, neither case lacks political significance; quite the contrary. Both cases are shaping what is rather nebulously defined as “political culture.” However, both cases are of domestic concern, while what is really at stake is inextricably linked to the wider instability in the area.

Faced, for many months now, with Turkey’s provocations, as the neighboring country ill-advisedly but systematically attempts to extend its influence in the Eastern Mediterranean by projecting military might, Greece has turned to the European Union and the United States and, at the same time, has built regional alliances with countries opposed to Ankara’s hegemony.

The fact is, none of that has curbed Turkey in the slightest. Regional alliances have not bothered Ankara and it would be a mistake for some to expect otherwise. The EU is unwilling to resort to drastic measures, and this is not due exclusively to Germany, but also to southern member-states, such as Italy and Spain, for economic reasons.

Many had placed great hopes in the election of Joe Biden, but the domestic challenges the new US president faces will keep him occupied for a long time. If we exempt Washington’s tougher stance against Moscow, what emanates as foreign policy lately is rather exploratory, with a tendency to overturn President Donald Trump’s policy and a renewed interest in human rights and democratization. In other words, issues that destabilized the region in the recent past.

And while these things happen, and Greece seems to be waiting for a decisive intervention of our partners of all sorts or the downfall of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkey’s bankruptcy, our political leaders appear to be suffering from a willful blindness, locked in a contest about who will stir society’s frenzy the most.