Time for change at the Foreign Ministry

The foreign policy currently being pursued by the government does not seem to hide any secrets. Athens is handling its relationship with Turkey by having its neighbor’s European Union accession negotiations in mind. This means that we are keeping our problems in the Aegean «on ice» while Ankara stands firm on its demands. On the matter of Cyprus, the government is generally following the same line as Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos, who is in no rush to relaunch peace talks, as the United Nations appears to be taking its time. And as regards the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), it appears that Athens has secured an agreement for the Balkan state to be referred to by this name in its dealings with the EU. Indeed, there do not appear to be any major sources of tension in the exercise of foreign policy in Greece today. Nearly all the goals outlined by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis have been fulfilled. The only lingering questions concern Turkey – its internal power struggles, its attempt to satisfy EU demands, its problems with the Kurds in Iraq. The ministry has been following these developments very closely because it is convinced that Ankara’s stance on the Aegean and Cyprus is linked to them. The question now arising as regards to Molyviatis’s possible replacement as foreign minister has been the focus of much speculation. But a change of ministry heads can only mean one of two things – either the current minister is not doing his job properly or a planned shift in policy is to be accompanied by a new minister.

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