OPINION

Changed climate

Greece’s «revised» foreign policy toward Turkey has long ceased to yield political fruit. In fact, during the last year Athens only managed to stand her ground, and that has not been without effort in the political arena and a positive climate in Greek-Turkish relations – and this only at the communication level. However, even that positive climate has recently been shaken as Ankara has, with specific actions, made clear that the step-by-step improvement in bilateral ties and the good climate by no means signifies that it has refashioned its policy on the Aegean dispute and the Cyprus problem… Furthermore, the belief that Ankara is embarking on a new round of claims over the existence of «gray areas» in the Aegean Sea and their «neutralization»… has thrown the Greek government into confusion and forced our defense minister to say that Turkey is instigating a «fresh period of tension in the Aegean.» Prime Minister Costas Simitis’s government has every reason to be worried over the fact that NATO views Turkey’s stance on the flight zones over the Aegean as normal… but also over the fact that the Americans have recently announced, for the first time, that they consider the Dodecanese Islands as a region that should be demilitarized in accordance with the Paris treaty… Holding up the euro notes triumphantly, Simitis noted that Greece now had one of the world’s strongest currencies.