Tag Archives: Greece

On Eastern Mediterranean Geopolitics

The eastern Mediterranean has been attracting a lot of attention, especially since the early 2010s, mainly because of the natural resource discoveries and the changing interstate relations. I’ve been following these developments since the beginning with a number of opinion editorials in English and Greek. By 2013 my interest started turning into a small research project. The results were published in different – albeit thematically overlapping – papers over the course of 2015 and early 2016 (see below). Though I thought that the latest article would conclude this project, as I’m now turning my focus towards the “Islamic State”, Turkey and the Middle East, it’s likely that the ongoing rapid developments will lead to more research on this subject. Contact me for more information.

073ed-where_is_cyprus Continue reading

Advertisements

The post-Referendum Greece: Between Challenges and Hope

Source: Reuters

On Sunday, July 5, 2015, the Greek people gave a clear ‘No’ to a proposed bailout deal by the Troika (the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank). Though the national referendum was specifically about the Troika’s proposed plan, both Greek and European leaders and the media transformed it into a vote on Greece’s participation in the Eurozone and ultimately the European Union. The Syriza[1]-led government vocally supported the ‘No’ vote, arguing that the position would provide Greece with the leverage to negotiate a better deal with the creditors. Traditionalist center and right-wing parties supported the ‘Yes’ vote, voicing concerns that a rejection of the Troika deal would lead Greece to default, a return to drachma (Greece’s pre-Euro national currency), an exit from the EU, and eventually international isolation.[2] Continue reading

A Note on Greek Foreign Policy under Syriza

Source: Reuters

Much has been said and written about the foreign policy that will be followed by the newly-elected coalition government in Greece that consists of majority Syriza (Coalition of the Radical Left) and minority center-to-right wing ANEL (Independent Greeks). Much of the fear-mongering and gloom analysis stems from assumptions that Syriza and many of its members (such as new Foreign Minister Dr. Nikos Kotzias) are anti-European, leftist nationalists and pro-Russian. A short evaluation will show that although we might witness some foreign policy alterations due to the rise of Syriza, they will neither be to an “axis-shift” extent nor, for example, akin to the change that we’ve witnessed in Turkey under the Justice and Development Party (AKP).  Continue reading

Syriza’s Victory and Greek-Israeli Relations

Source: GreekReporter

By Zenonas Tziarras* & Ioannis-Sotirios Ioannou**

The Coalition of Radical Left (Syriza) was the big winner of the Greek national elections of January 25, 2015, as expected. With 36.34% of the votes, Syriza and its leader (now Prime Minister) Alexis Tsipras won 149 seats, two seats shy of absolute majority. New Democracy, of now former Prime Minster Antonis Samaras, came second with 27.86% and 76 seats. Syriza chose to form a coalition government with Panos Kammenos’ populist and far-right (though often-referred to as center-right) Independent Greeks (ANEL), that won 13 seats with 4.8% of the votes. Not only that, but Tsipras appointed Kammenos as the new Minister of Defense. Although leftist Nikos Kotzias, Syriza’s new Foreign Minister, is more cool-headed and pragmatist, if assertive, than Kammenos, the Ministry of Defense plays an important role in security issues and Kammenos might adopt a harder line that could challenge Greece’s overall foreign policy with particular respect to relations with Turkey and Israel. Overall, these developments may signal a new approach in Greek foreign policy on issues ranging from the EU, to Russia and the Eastern Mediterranean. Continue reading

Turkey’s Revisionism in the Eastern Mediterranean

Source: Today’s Zaman

Part I: Turkey in the Middle East: The Tacit Revisionist

In the previous article, it was argued that Turkish foreign policy in the Middle East “is obviously, yet tacitly, revisionist.” Specifically, examples such as the Syrian civil war were employed to highlight Turkey’s revisionist goals (i.e. regime change) and its efforts to rely on great powers (U.S. and NATO) in order to achieve them without getting too much involved.

Another region where one could observe a revisionist Turkish foreign policy behavior is the Eastern Mediterranean. There, Turkey is part of long-standing disputes which concern issues such as the delimitation of maritime borders, air-control spaces, and Muslim or Turkish minorities in Greece and Cyprus. More recently, Turkey has also had problems with Israel and Egypt. Continue reading

Σχόλιο για Εξελίξεις με Χρυσή Αυγή

Λογικό το να γίνεται προσπάθεια διαχωρισμού πολιτικής και εγκληματικής δίωξης της Χρυσής Αυγής. Ίσως και η διαδικασία να κατάφερε να διατηρήσει αυτό το διαχωρισμό. Πρέπει όμως να γίνει αντιληπτό ότι στη συγκεκριμένη περίπτωση η γραμμή που διαχωρίζει τα δύο είναι πολύ λεπτή καθώς η δίωξη της ΧΑ για εγκληματικούς λόγους έχει πολιτικό αντίκτυπο. Συνεπώς το ζήτημα δεν είναι το κατά πόσο η δικαιοσύνη έλαμψε στα δικά μας μάτια ή σε αυτά της ΧΑ – είτε με τη σύλληψη είτε με τη μη προφυλάκισή τους. Το ζήτημα είναι εαν έχει σταθμιστεί το πολιτικό και κοινωνικό κόστος από μια τέτοια κίνηση – και αυτό, όχι διότι η απόφαση για αποφυλάκισή τους ήταν από μόνη της λανθασμένη.

Ας καταλάβουμε ότι η σύλληψη βουλευτών είναι μια πολύ σοβαρή και σημαντική κίνηση – όποιοι και αν είναι αυτοί – η οποία και πρέπει να γίνεται όταν χρειάζεται. Το ερώτημα λοιπόν που προκύπτει είναι: γιατί προέβησαν οι αρχές σε τέτοια κίνηση εφόσον δεν είχαν συντριπτικά στοιχεία για να κρατήσουν, και κατα προτίμηση να καταδικάσουν, τα συγκεκριμένα άτομα; Μήπως μπορεί κάποιος να αποσυνδέσει την πραγματικότητα της αποδέσμευσης Κασιδιάρη και λοιπών από την υπάρχουσα κοινωνική πόλωση και από το κόστος που μπορεί να έχει για την (πολιτική) αξιοπιστία του κράτους και την ηρωοποίηση τουλάχιστον μερικών εκ της ΧΑ; Continue reading