OPINION

Is ND missing the bigger picture?

The decision at the recent European Union summit in Brussels to give Greece 20 billion euros from the Fourth Community Support Framework for the 2007-2013 period was a success and the conservative administration of Costas Karamanlis has good reason to celebrate. However, once that goal was achieved, the Greek government should have taken time to consider the nascent balance of power in Germany and in the 25-member-strong bloc in general. Regrettably, Karamanlis did not deem it necessary to meet with the leader of Germany’s conservatives, and subsequent chancellor, Angela Merkel, in the runup to that country’s general election. New Democracy and the Christian Democrats are sister parties and backing Merkel would have been a legitimate thing to do. Perhaps Karamanlis was put off by other concerns, such as that expressing political support for a party that is deeply skeptical of Turkey’s European ambitions would send the wrong signal to Ankara. The point is that there was no contact between the two conservative leaders. Similarly, it is difficult to interpret the recent announcement by the Government Council on Foreign Policy and Defense (KYSEA) that Greece intends to purchase 30 US-made F-16 fighter jets that made no mention of any deal to buy Eurofighter planes. It should be noted that such a commitment was first undertaken by the administration of Costas Simitis and subsequently repeated by Karamanlis – if not in public…