Greece?s fiscal misery has prompted a lot of grumbling, but also a fair deal of wishful thinking. Reports have gone on record of people saying that ?Hillary Clinton is visiting Greece to promote investment in the country.? Meanwhile, others are saying that ?the Chinese are about to invest in Greek bonds and do business here,? or that ?the Russians are willing to step in to rescue Greece.?
However, a brief conversation with pretty much any foreign diplomat or high-ranking official will indicate that foreign governments more or less share the same opinion about Greece. They all agree that the government in Athens must introduce painful reforms, restore fiscal stability and make the local economy more attractive to foreign investors.
All countries design their foreign policies in accordance with their own national interests. States behave like global entrepreneurs and have no reason to bet on a lame horse. And they seriously examine the prospects of an investment in advance.
Moreover, there is one more thing we have to take into consideration. Greece is no longer an unknown quantity — and that is not necessarily always a good thing.
Foreign governments have good knowledge of the obstacles facing anyone who is thinking about investing in the country. Those who actually put their money in Greece — like COSCO, which braved the early difficulties — know very well that Greeks can excel in an organized environment. However, most investors have almost certainly heard stories involving some battling union group or acts of blackmail by state functionaries. It?s no secret that Greece resembles a minefield for any prospective investor.
Still, the speculation continues as the reports keep coming about the ?Chinese invasion? or ?the huge interest from the Americans.?
We must get our act together. Or no one will bother investing here. In the eyes of international capital, the globe is a neighborhood. Those who dream that foreign investors will want to buy our debt or invest their money in the country due to geopolitical reasons are deluding themselves.
Greece is not threatened by imaginary enemies, but it cannot expect help from imaginary friends either. We are the only ones who can save Greece. And we are also the greatest danger.