OPINION

Opinion

The British plan worked out in order to ease Ankara’s concerns over the use of NATO assets by the nascent rapid reaction force is particularly important, because by dissolving the rhetoric over an independent European defense force it shows that the role of the much-heralded European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) is essentially that of facilitating the US when they are unwilling to engage in certain types of operations. The document is very useful for the Greek political elite, which is in a state of insecurity and is hence seeking ways to consolidate its defense against the Turkish threat. It is doing so not through the creation of a credible national armed force (that is through the allocation of the requisite funds, training, and, above all, the boosting of morale and nationalist sentiment), but rather by joining existing or nascent multinational defense organizations that seek to exploit Turkey’s military capabilities rather than contributing to its isolation. Any sober politician in Greece – an EU and NATO country with special security problems due to Turkey’s foreign policy – would only incidentally deal with the ESDP and only mechanistically support the country’s participation in it, just because the future is unknown and full of surprises. Paradoxical as it may sound, Euro-Atlantic relations may in the future be shaken – even though were this to happen, it is not certain what Greece’s stance should be… But this is only one side of the coin. The second and, morally speaking, more important issue is the government’s lack of respect for Parliament’s rules of order. It does not apologize, admit its tardiness or at least attribute the last-minute rush to objective obstacles but rather lashes back as if the opposition were absurd to insist on observing the rules of order. More than impunity itself, this reaction shows that the government sees itself as an establishment that perceives constitutional and legislative procedures not as a self-evident commitment but as a nuisance which can occasionally be by-passed.