OPINION

A cautious policy

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis’s recent visit to Washington served to confirm his government’s extremely good relations with the Bush administration and to clarify the framework of Greek-US cooperation on a range of foreign policy issues. Indeed, the Greek political leadership is aligned with the USA’s basic strategic priorities in our region, as was the previous PASOK government, which believed that the European Union had little scope for action without US support. The difference now is that the PM and Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis are not concealing their agenda, nor are they «dressing it up» as European. Rather, the two of them appear to be making the most of the opportunity to exploit certain regional advantages that Greece has in view of the current crisis in US-Turkish relations. However, there is no question of Greek foreign policy switching onto auto-pilot due to the common stance held by Athens and Washington on the Balkans, the Middle East and international terrorism. The fact that President Bush has described Greece as a «strategic partner» for the USA is, however, no guarantee for Greek foreign policy. We must not forget that while the White House may appear to respect some «sensitive» areas of Greek foreign policy, such as finding an acceptable name for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the Cyprus problem, this outlook is not shared by State Department technocrats…