CLOSE
Loading...
12° Nicosia,
19 August, 2022
 
Home  /  Comment  /  Opinion

The Evros example

Alexis Papachelas

Alexis Papachelas

The West, particularly Europe, is faced with a dilemma. It is challenged by tough players that casually utilize threats and blackmail. These are players who are hardly contained by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and they do not care about violating international law. Their political survival is effectively unchallenged because they have no real elections, no real parliaments or junior coalition partners.

Europe must forge a united front and demonstrate the necessary political will to protect the EU’s external borders while at the same time sending the message that blackmail will not be tolerated.

Whether it’s with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan or his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko, it is a very tough game. Both leaders exploit the victims of humanitarian crises for economic or political ends. They are well aware that they intimidate Western leaders who have their minds fixed on the next local or national ballot. The specter of the refugee/migration crisis still haunts Europe’s political landscape and no one wants to think it could be repeated.

For the powerful and relentless leaders on the other side, the game can only end in a win. It’s very likely that they will be able to receive ransom and room for political maneuvering on all fronts pretty much in the way Erdogan did in his negotiations with Germany. And if things do not turn out that way for them, they know well that Western democracies will not be able to tolerate another crisis that would create political and social instability. There is nothing better for a leader who hates the West and what it stands for, as well as all the finger-wagging from Western officials.

For all these reasons it is important that Europe wakes up and behaves like a grownup. The countries of Europe must forge a united front and demonstrate the necessary political will to protect the EU’s external borders while at the same time sending the message that blackmail will not be tolerated. The 2020 incident in Evros, when Greece took a raft of tough measures as it tried to repel thousands of migrants amassed on its border with Turkey, should perhaps set an example for the future. There is no safer way to make a bully understand that there are red lines that must be respected. Even if these are drawn by the Western “softies.”

TAGS
Cyprus  |  Greece  |  migration

Opinion: Latest Articles

Solving Cyprus

Solving Cyprus

A solution to the Cyprus issue will go a long way toward facilitating Ankara’s goal of playing an important role in the ...
Athanasios Ellis
 |  OPINION
About racism

About racism

To eliminate racism, we need three things: Better education, better social reflexes and better legislative framework
Opinion
 |  OPINION
The end of prim and proper

The end of prim and proper

'Turkey is constantly adding issues to the agenda or emphasizing others in a much more intense way than in the past.'
Alexis Papachelas
 |  OPINION
A difficult summer

A difficult summer

'Now that the holiday season is nearing its peak, the problem is emerging in all its wretchedness.'
Opinion
 |  OPINION
The bargain in Madrid

The bargain in Madrid

The Turkish President found the West at a time when it needs him because of the war in Ukraine and exerted all possible ...
Alexis Papachelas
 |  OPINION
There is a conflict in US society

There is a conflict in US society

Some say that the campaign to ban abortion rights aims to create a large pool of impoverished people for the labor market ...
Nikos Konstandaras
 |  OPINION
Immigration problem?

Immigration problem?

'If no practical solution is found, it will be the end of Europe as we know it'
Opinion
 |  OPINION
Photo courtesy AMNA

What is Turkey up to?

The Turkish leadership has regrettably adopted the extreme views held by the Kemalist deep state regarding the Aegean and ...
Opinion
 |  OPINION
Photo courtesy Reuters

Valuable ally, you said?

Does the West fear an anti-Western axis if Turkey forms a final alliance with Russia?
Alexis Papachelas
 |  OPINION
Looking for answers

Looking for answers

Takis Hatzigeorgiou wants answers to questions most Cypriots are asking from the presidential candidates
Opinion
 |  OPINION
X