OPINION

Dangerous times

It was noted during the diplomatic battle at the UN Security Council that the Franco-German axis was inherently unstable and that a country like Greece needed to be particularly careful not to be left hanging during the next phase. It is true that both the government, as current head of the European Council, and the opposition have been careful. It is now common knowledge among the main political forces that a stand in favor of peace, imposed by the country’s cultural identity, required that Greece seek a new kind of understanding with other countries, but that this should not create problems for its international position or for its foreign policy issues. The recent tension between the USA and Turkey, and the gradual weakening of Turkey’s role in the region, provide an opportunity for Greece; not necessarily within the framework of a competitive relationship whereby one’s gain is another’s loss, but on the basis of Turkey’s adaptation to new geostrategic factors and the need for tangible progress in minority rights. PASOK’s internal affairs are a minefield. George Papandreou is under attack from all factions for being pro-American. There are many indications of a hidden conflict within the government. Cabinet members have been publicly competing in displays of an anti-American or pro-European stance. It would be dangerous to claim that Greece can build bridges when no one else is interested, but just as dangerous and alienating if Greece were to oppose others engaged in bridge-building.