OPINION

Opportunism

Previously unanimous Socialist party members have begun to express reservations over how several issues, such as Greek-Turkish relations and especially the issue of the EU’s rapid reaction force, are being handled. At the same time, Prime Minister Costas Simitis, who until recently had kept a moderate, though not compliant stance, is now threatening to veto the force unless Greece’s peers scrap the so-called Ankara document (signed by the US, Britain and Turkey) which essentially subordinates the Euroforce to the NATO alliance. It would be welcome if these changes marked a renewed sense of national self-conscience or a realization of the fact that Greece has its own particular interests to defend, as NATO and EU regulations are not always in line with the country’s national objectives. Unfortunately, this is not the case. What we are facing, rather, is a political opportunism that emerges when a government or political party shows clear signs of disintegration, fueling the autonomy of the most popular cadres. Current disagreements inside the Socialist camp therefore have nothing to do with the essence of foreign policy, but rather are aimed at undermining Foreign Minister George Papandreou, the most powerful baron. Simitis, for his part, sensing that his immediate political future is under threat and being severely challenged over his broader policies, is making opportunistic alliances on both sides.