OPINION

Speaking the wrong language

Greeks are emotional people, who often mistakenly believe that foreign policy can be forged in sentimental terms. We are still under the illusion that Germany, the USA and France harbor some deep-rooted love for this country and that we can always depend on them in a crunch. We need to surrender this hope, because neither Washington nor Berlin have diplomats pro- or anti-Greece, but professionals whose first order of business is the interests of their own countries. We also need to see that it is futile to expect the European Union to pull us out of financial straits with Eurobonds or the president of the United States to give us the same importance as Turkey. Germans can see that the high-end cars driving around Greek streets are the product of theft and kickbacks from a whole string of EU support packages that they helped fund in the first place. The German politician, in turn, is only interested in selling fighter jets and is annoyed at all the fruitless promises that have been given to him in the past. As for the Americans, they have got the message, delivered in a variety of ways, that they are not particularly welcome in Greece and that no – non-suicidal – government will want to «play» with them. In their eyes, Greeks are constantly whining about unimportant geopolitical issues and are also ill-disposed to giving America anything in exchange for its support. US President Barack Obama, as anyone would in his shoes, listens to his advisers and focuses on Turkey, a country with major geopolitical significance, with a catalytic role in Iraq, Iran and the Middle East and one that knows how to separate its anti-Americanism from real business. Greece was loved when it was a country of downtrodden people rising up against autocracy. Greece got respect and support when it was strong at its core and spoke the language of the great powers. Right now it is at a nadir internally and seems unable to play any role in the international arena. Instead of getting mad about this, maybe we should be looking at how to fix it.