Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Vasilis Markezinis: stating the obvious

There's nothing remarkable or dramatically insightful about the programme (in Greek) above with Professor Vasilis Markezinis in which he discusses the current state of Greece's foreign relations, the national issues and the impact the economic crisis might have on these.

What Markezinis says is just common sense: Greece needs to make alliances where it can, escape its fear of being on the wrong side of America, show courage, vision, imagination and 'balls'. Markezinis argues for a less supine policy towards Turkey; in particular, he suggests Greece give up advocating Turkey's full membership of the EU. The argument that a Turkey anxious to join the EU would be tamed and less hostile to Greece has been disproved. Turkey's ambitions against Greece – particularly regarding the Aegean and the continental shelf – are long term and Turkey shows no signs of abandoning them.

The economic crisis may well be used to challenge not only Greece's economic sovereignty, but to pressurise Greece to make concessions regarding Macedonia, Kosovo, the Aegean and Cyprus. Markezinis is dismissive and suspicion of the Americans extending the visa waiver programme to Greece. Markezinis believes the likelihood is that Greece won't develop the will or guts to defend its national interests and that intolerable concessions and national retrenchment await the country.

Finally, he says that 'philhellenism' is a Greek word and concept, that no other country uses or feels; the Germans will look after the Germans, the French will look after the French and the English will look after the English. The Greeks, too, should learn to look after themselves.

(Thanks to the Ινφογνώμων Πολιτικά blog for drawing attention to the video).


Hermes said...

I agree with about 95% of what Basil says. However, I think his opinion of Davutoglou is way too high. The assumptions underlying the Turkish FM's theory do not stack up and we are already seeing Turkish FM policy fray around the edges.

lastgreek said...

From The Associated Press:

Germany and France urged adoption of a joint eurozone and International Monetary Fund bailout program for Greece, a move aimed at putting a stop to months of market turmoil and acrimony over Europe's government debt crisis.-

Looks like the IMF will get its paws into Greece afterall. Well, at least now we know.

Was anyone here fooled by the "good cop, bad cop" routine played by France and Germany?

Why don't they have a referedum in Greece, just like the one recently in Iceland, where the Greek people themselves can decide what to do with the debt and---and here's the kicker---WHO should should pay it?

I had a dream last night where Greece told the debtors to "go blow," got rid of the pissy euro, restored the drachma, and converted all oustanding euro debt to drachma debt.

The night before, I dreamt that Greece extended--by international law--its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles---right after the Greek Foreign Minister told his Mongol counterpart to "fuck off."

Anyone here have any similar dreams lately?


John Akritas said...

I agree, H. that Markezinis is too effusive in his praise of Davoutoglu, but I suppose the Turk's merit is his articulation of a strategic vision that has at its core Turkish hegemony. Greece's strategic vision – if it can be called that – is to become embedded as deep as possible in the bosom of the European Union so that it doesn't have to deal itself with its problematic neighbours.

But LG, Greece wouldn't dare fight back, nor does it have the imagination or fortitude to reinvent itself. The country is in for a period of further decline, and our only hope is that this decline isn't accompanied by national catastrophes and humiliations. And, regarding the points you make on the Camus thread about neo-liberalism and greedy business elites, I agree up to a point that Greece's business elites are like feudal barons or mafia bosses, who make their own rules and laws. They are anti-modern, anti-innovation, anti-competition and anti-enterprise. Having said that, the trade union and political party mafia bosses are just as corrupt and stifling. The whole system and society is degenerate, and virtually every Greek – rich, poor, working class, middle class, farmer – is implicated. And what's worse – and I'm not wallowing in pessimism here – I just can't see a way out for the country. It won't/can't reinvent itself and will limp along from one crisis to the next and into the abyss.

John Akritas said...
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