OPINION

The national interest

The logjam in Costas Simitis’s government over the Euroforce issue, Ankara’s growing intransigence on the Cyprus dispute, and overall concerns about the re-emergence of Turkish provocativeness in the Aegean Sea highlight the inconsistency of the premier’s key policies and the fragility of the equilibrium inside the ruling Socialist party. In light of renewed tension in Greek-Turkish relations and the looming threat of Greece finding itself isolated inside the European Union because of its veto on Europe’s embryonic rapid reaction force, Simitis last week called for national solidarity. The prime minister also proposed to meet political leaders of the opposition parties – who are the main focus of his call for solidarity – in order to update them on the serious challenges facing Greece on key foreign policy issues. Hence, one can question how the prime minister can uphold his call for solidarity while, at the same time, continuing his strategy of reviving traditional dividing lines and bringing about artificial polarization. Simitis’s attempt to forge national solidarity while simultaneously seeking to instigate a climate of polarization in view of the local and parliamentary elections is absurd. The premier has to choose between the national interest – which is served by the solidarity currently displayed by Greece’s political parties – and the party interest, which is pursued through polarizing tactics…