OPINION

In the West, along with everyone else

There is a lot of discussion these days with regard to the country’s geopolitical direction. There are those who consider that Greece must side with the Americans against the Germans, while others believe that the dogma devised by the late Constantine Karamanlis, through his assertion that “we belong to the West,” ought to come to an end and that the country should look toward Moscow. At the same time there are those who would like to see Greece develop even stronger strategic ties with Israel.

It’s only logical that the country is seeking direction amid these unprecedented crisis conditions. It will take a lot of self-control, caution and accurate calculations to map out a course that will safeguard the country’s financial interests as well as national security.

Following the fall of the dictatorship in 1974, Greece anchored itself to the West, particularly the European Union, given that the country needed the EU as a point of reference and as a safety net.

While the Karamanlis dogma still stands, there is another fixed view which calls for Greece to develop closer ties with other powerful pillars in the global system. Clearly the greatest part of our interests depend on the EU. The Americans – even if Greece opted to get closer to the US – are in the process of disengaging themselves from Europe. They are providing help because they fear that Germany’s obsession with austerity resembles the gold standard obsession before the Great Depression in 1929. They are helping out by exerting pressure and naturally they will play a leading role if, for some strange reason, we face an entanglement with Turkey. But that’s as far as it goes, though.

Special attention must be paid to Greece’s relations with Israel, either because there are those in Tel Aviv who are pushing for unrealistic and dangerous things or because one never knows how certain their break with Turkey is.

In the case of Russia, the country has shown a desire to have a presence in Greece but nothing beyond that; in other words, it does not wish to bring Greece under its sphere of influence. Above all, Russia sees Greece as a part of a globalized system which directly influences its own affairs. Don’t forget that Moscow keeps 40 percent of its reserves in euros, and as a result, observes Greece through this prism as well.

So at this particular point in time perhaps it’s best to stick to the course taken by Karamanlis of belonging to the West, while playing with the rest of the players as well. And let’s never forget that our geopolitical value as a country has been and will always be tied to the kind of power we project as a society and a state.