OPINION

‘Secret’ issues

For a long time, the government managed to deflect public focus from serious matters of foreign policy. This was the case with Greek-Turkish relations, which it handled very discreetly after the Imia crisis, promoting its realistic approach, its sang-froid, and its new European-based perception of foreign relations. But with general elections on the horizon, the government is now finding it harder to keep a lid on this thorny subject. So, it is being asked to provide some explanations, either about subjects it managed to keep from its political opposition up to now, such as the new air corridors in the Aegean, or about issues it has long been discussing with Ankara, such as the delineation of the continental shelf, and which it refuses to discuss with the opposition before clear decisions have been reached. Opposition New Democracy recently demanded that the government explain its handling of critical issues in the Aegean following reports in the Greek and Turkish press revealing that agreements had already been made (e.g. for new air corridors) or that developments were anticipated (e.g. in the case of the continental shelf). Indeed, the government came under fire for operating behind a partial veil of secrecy with the aim of eventually presenting the opposition and the public with a fait accompli. In this way, it had time to examine its dilemmas in detail while presenting what it claimed were significant political achievements.