OPINION

The Greek dilemma

The pending US-led war on Iraq has upset Greece’s EU presidency, which has fallen short of patching together the Western rift. Apart from the geopolitical repercussions, regional developments will directly affect Greek interests and the country’s place in the new order. Greece’s post-1974 policy has been based on the so-called European prospect, but the EU has been seriously undermined as a political unit as France and Germany, the European powerhouses, have forged an axis with sharp anti-American characteristics. Greece’s political system is strongly attracted to the central European powers, even though, historically speaking, Greece has protected its interests mainly by allying itself with Britain and the US, the leading sea powers. Greece’s neighbors (Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, FYROM, Albania, Croatia, and Italy) have clearly joined the American camp. As a result, although Greece’s political allegiance rests with the EU, it is geographically located in an American sphere of influence. Greek citizens have every right to protest against Washington’s war plans and the media also have their own agenda, but a political system and, most essentially, a government must consider all elements carefully before taking a course of action. But in Greece there has been no serious thinking, but only a constant embarrassment reflected in naive remarks such as «war is not unavoidable,» «there is still a window of opportunity» and «Saddam has to comply.» There are no Greek politicians of sufficient caliber to forge an equilibrium. Above all, it is far from certain that such an equilibrium can be reached at all, if the transatlantic gulf continues to widen. In its effort to refashion the world, the US will not only shake the Mideast, but also the EU – a system it deems obsolete. As this happens, Greece is merely presiding over a divided Community.