OPINION

Conditions and tactics

Criticizing the government over its relationship with Turkey, opposition PASOK’s spokesperson for foreign affairs and defense matters, Anna Diamantopoulou, referred to a «a negation of the Helsinki conditions.» It would be interesting if PASOK could confirm exactly which aspects of the document drafted in Helsinki in 1999 constitute «conditions» and on what occasions it deems that they were violated. It would be a great help to commentators on Greek foreign policy if PASOK would reiterate a statement made by its chief, George Papandreou, when he was foreign minister that solid Greek-Turkish relations constitute a criterion for Turkey’s bid to join the European Union. It would also be useful if PASOK’s experienced deputy Nikos Athanassakis could clarify the framework that his party’s governments had established regarding Greek-Turkish relations and which Costas Karamanlis’s government has ostensibly disengaged. We have already said that the Greek government has failed to react politically to the air shows being performed by Turkish jets in the Aegean while Turkey’s prime minister appears powerless to control his country’s military. Now the Greek government is obliged to consider tactics that are significantly different from those it had implemented before the spate of air-space violations. We will be able to judge its diplomatic skills in managing this problem in due course…