OPINION

A new world

The military campaign against Iraq has become a catalyst for geopolitical transformation. Washington has made no secret of its intention of refashioning the Middle East and imposing a global hegemony outside the existing international institutions that date back to World War II. It is precisely this move that has generated an unprecedented worldwide anti-war movement against the Bush administration. And it is this movement that has prompted France, Germany and the majority of EU member states to put up strong resistance to Washington. At the same time, the specter of unchecked American hegemony has urged Moscow and Beijing to join forces with Paris and Berlin. In the meantime, on the grounds that it is currently the head of the EU’s rotating presidency, the Greek government has maintained a cautious stance and has largely sought compromise in order to bridge the chasm within the European Union. It is clear, however, that further European integration and Greece’s participation in the hard core of EU states must be our national strategy, in the sense that it is a goal shared by all political parties. This is the reason our country tends to participate in initiatives like the one hammered out by the French, the Germans and Belgians for the formation of a common European defense structure. The government may be on the same wavelength as these states, but it has avoided taking a stand on the grounds that it is at the helm of the EU presidency. It will most likely join the initiative, but is waiting to see whether American diplomacy, in the meantime, will manage to torpedo the move. It is worth noting that the opposition leader has done what the government has avoided to date. New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis has openly sided in favor of the initiative. His meeting with French President Jacques Chirac yesterday was more than public relations hoopla. It marks a political commitment to the European strategy carved out by the Franco-German axis. All this demonstrates that Greece belongs to the West as an integral part of the European Union and not because of its special ties to the USA, as was true in previous decades. The government is trying to reduce the repercussions of this reality on Greek-American relations. It is indicative of the situation that although Greece has sided against the war rhetorically, it did not hesitate to provide the USA with all the logistical and other support it requested.