Interests of Hellas

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic


How Hellenic interests have changed over time by decisions or evolvements.

Submitted: December 30, 2017

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Submitted: December 30, 2017

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The interests of Hellas have not been the same in the last decades.They have changed either by decisions of policy makers or by evolvements in the area and the world.So we will first have a brief history look from the coup of the Junta period.

The regime of the coup believed that Cyprus was an economic bleeding to Hellas and wanted the removal of its leader, the priest Makarios.So according to the Junta regime, hellenic interests did not lie with Cyprus and in part, religion, hence the invasion in northern Cyprus occured.I say in part, because a usual cry of the regime was Hellas of Hellene Christians.In the afterward period of Konstantinos Karamanlis, the management of the Cyprus issuen,reforms and getting in European Community were put forward.So, the interests of Hellas were moved in line with Cyprus's interests, but having at the same time an interior and European,non-American direction, since Hellas withdrew from the military branch of NATO.In the 80s emphasis was put in the Cyprus issue, but no significant moves were made, inheriting to the next decade the basic perception of Konstantinos Karamanlis view of hellenic interests.The dissolution of the Soviet Union and the deepening of the unification of Europe, strengthened Karamanlis view of hellenic interests, as the decision by Konstantinos Mitsotakis was made, to participate in the creation of the common currency of the European Union and an initiative for Cyprus to enter EU.The mid 90s did not change this, but the war in Yugoslavia had given birth to the state of Macedonia and the macedonian issue gave a northern,balkanian source of worry to hellenic interests.Though no change occured in the Cyprus and European fronts, the decision to take the macedonian issue from the United Nations to American intermediation in New York, recognized or aligned the hellenic interests in accordance to american interests.The Kostas Simitis period did not alter the latter view of Hellas's interests, as it led to the adoption of the euro as Hellas's new currency and the entering of Cyprus into the EU, after the rejection of the Annan plan for the unification of Cyprus. 

However,later, in the Kostas Karamanlis period, it became evident, that an altering of perception of hellenic interests had occured.The initiative of Cyprus entering EU was made not because EU was the goal, but because a UN plan for the unification of Cyprus was the goal.So, in an indirect way, a shift of balance in hellenic interests had happenned towards the Cyprus direction.Hellas's interests did not lie so much anymore with the hard economic reality of Europe's euro currency, but in hellenic speaking Cyprus.The rejection of the EU constitution made this notion a perceivable reality.Considerable political capital was spent again in the macedonian issue and to reforms according to the older Karanmanlis tradition.The periods of George Papandreou, Antonis Samaras and Alexis Tsipras left no room for foreign matters as the economic woes was the main concern.

Today, the mainstream view of hellenic interests is somewhat vague.Foreign affairs do not concern so much the goverment and in the sense of priorities, Cyprus and Macedonian issues have a little importance.No major initiatives have been launched for the two issues, since the economic woes of Greece have led to a third loaning memorandum.The memorandum imposes reforms over money, so in a forced,exterior way hellenic interests have moved toward an interior direction but not out of belief or reason, but out of necessity.

A distinct point, that of the refugee crisis needs to be clarified.The refugee crisis has put pressure on hellenic interests forcing Hellas to become more active regarding issues of the wider area.Hellas has flooded with refugees, but curiously no out of control rise of xenophobia has occured.Being worried however for the situation in the East (Syria,ISIS,Kurds), is something that is often discussed, as Hellas traditionally was guided by a do nothing-do no mistakes way of thinking.

Currently the hellenic interests still have two constant axis.Cyprus and European Union.As these are geostrategic choices they are not going to change soon, unless there are evolvements that will affect the latter.For example, even if not officially related, decisions to dissolve NATO would for reasons of balance and stability affect EU.The third axis of hellenic interests is the interior and has to do with reforms, as these are imposed by the memorandum.They are however legislation moves about passing technocratic bills and do not promote VALUES like human rights, transparency, democracy and equality.So, in my opinion a few right things are happening but for the wrong reasons.Doing something for a wrong reason is not understanding what you are doing.And I am not sure that's better than inactivity.


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