Exercise in futility

Public relations exercises are synonymous with foreign policy. In fact, promoting a country’s national interests abroad must be based largely on personal relations and regular contacts. That said, there can be no foreign policy without a clear, central objective. Cultivating public relations for petty political gain is counterproductive and alienates the average voter. Sure, everyone wants the country’s political representatives to be on good terms with senior US officials or other influential leaders. After all, that was standard practice during the foreign policy tenure of George Papandreou and continues today. What is expected of such PR exercises however is that they produce concrete benefits for Greece. But every so often, photo-ops are followed by abrupt policy shifts on sensitive issues like the FYROM name dispute or Greek-Turkish relations. Big powers, it seems, are not always moved by personal likes and dislikes.

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