CLOSE
Loading...
22° Nicosia,
20 May, 2019
 
Home  /  Comment  /  Opinion

Plan B for FYROM and more US bases in Greece

The country’s foreign policy and security are too important to be handled lightly by anybody

Athanasios Ellis

Athanasios Ellis

The country’s foreign policy and security are too important to be handled lightly by anybody. When that person is the defense minister displaying a flippant attitude in formal discussions with top superpower officials, we have a serious problem.

We may be accustomed to the craziness of opposing policy lines within one government. We may be used to seeing the ministers of foreign affairs and defense locking horns, often getting quite personal. We may be unsurprised that one coalition partner would reject an agreement signed by the other that is of national significance and has broader regional ramifications. But when this theater of the absurd is transported to the world’s most important decision-making center, then the country’s credibility is challenged.

We have a name deal with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia that was signed by the government of Greece, via its prime minister and foreign affairs chief, and has the avid support of the Americans and the Europeans – each for their own reasons. And then we have that very same deal being undermined by the very same government via the minister of defense, and all that taking place inside the US State Department, during a meeting with the assistant secretary of state for European affairs.

We are equally baffled by Defense Minister Panos Kammenos’s proposal for the creation of a “Balkan alliance” with Albania and Bulgaria. Why would Greece not just propose but actively play a leading role in including FYROM in a regional “arch of stability” that would effectively operate under a US umbrella, without getting anything in return with regard to the name dispute, and especially when every country in the region, as well as in most of the world, will keep calling the country the “Republic of Macedonia”? Why would we give Skopje the stability and security it seeks for free, even though it is willing to make concessions on the name issue in return? It doesn’t sound as if the proposal would serve Greece’s national interest in any way.

Kammenos also put forward a proposition for more American bases in Greece. Even if one accepts the geostrategic importance of such a move, and that is indeed the case, this is something that is simply not announced on camera. When it comes to any strategic decision that serves the national interest, if there is a serious plan, it has first to be looked at in depth behind closed doors.

When it comes to issues related to the complex regional puzzle of which the name deal is a piece, and to Greece’s strategic cooperation with the United States, a more serious approach is expected of people in positions of responsibility.

Opinion: Latest Articles

Andreas Paraschos connects the dots as multiple cases fail to deliver justice, one after the other

The yellow lake

Lady justice fails to prevail as politicians hop from one case to the next
Andreas Paraschos
 |  OPINION
Marina Economides is fed up with petty politics that do irreparable damage, Kızılyurek’s candidacy a case in point

Toxic environment

Short term memory loss strikes around election season, but at what cost?
Marina Economides
 |  OPINION
Eleni Xenou looks closely at the racist question and discovers hidden undertones

So are we racists?

Walls go up as the dreadful question about racism fails to hit a nerve
Eleni Xenou
 |  OPINION
Cry havoc!

Cry havoc!

The decision by the President to call the Turkish incursion into the Cyprus EEZ an invasion has raised eyebrows both at ...
Yiannis Kafkarides
 |  OPINION
Kathimerini Cyprus writes a letter of apology in the wake of the horrific serial killer murders

Sorry

An apology in the wake of the horrific serial killer murders
 |  OPINION
A tear for Notre Dame

A tear for Notre Dame

Andreas Paraschos writes about the wilderness of a society that does not seek accountability
Andreas Paraschos
 |  OPINION
Son-in-law diplomacy

Son-in-law diplomacy

White House meeting between Erdogan’s son-in-law and Trump’s son-in-law raises eyebrows in Greece
Alexis Papachelas
 |  OPINION
Government reaction to the Guterres report has been baffling to observers of the Cyprus issue

Political Will

The UN report on Cyprus spells out that there is no political will for a solution
Yiannis Kafkarides
 |  OPINION
Caution and prudence

Caution and prudence

The next government will be called upon to make historic decisions. Until we get there, a good deal of prudence is advisable ...
Alexis Papachelas
 |  OPINION
Pompeo, Anastasiades, Netanyahu, Tsipras shake hands in Jerusalem, 21/03/2019

Westward Bound

Pompeo’s comments in Jerusalem tell the story of western political culture
Yiannis Kafkarides
 |  OPINION
Marina Economides calls on government to answer questions as passing the buck is alive and well

Pass the buck

Folks served baloney as politicians openly resort to blame shifting tactics
Marina Economides
 |  OPINION
X