Connect with us

Latest

Hellenic Insider

Greece

Will April 8 be Greece’s date with destiny or the final nail in its EU debt slave coffin?

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is headed to Russia April 8 to meet President Putin. With Russia and China emerging as an alternative to US-World Bank economics, the safe bet could be on a Russo-Greco bridge.

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

0 Views

Post originally appeared on Russia Insider.

Greece’s Industrial Reform Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis and Syriza MP Thanasis Petrakos were in Moscow the last two days laying the groundwork for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ meet with Vladimir Putin. As a squirming cauldron of edgy bankers, politicians, and generals west of the Bosporus look on with prescience at the prospects, Russia and China have a singular opportunity. As a caveat, Petrakos told Spiegel Online and other media:

“This visit is very important for Greece. We intend to deepen our relationship with Russia in the energy sector and thereby hope to gain a significant advantage.”

A couple of weeks ago I reported on Tsipras’ acceleration of his meetup with Putin. With talks in Berlin and with Brussels upcoming, the Greek Prime Minister set out to play his country’s economic hand with the cards he had been dealt. Holding a Russo-Greco deal over the bankers’ heads, this was not genius, only deal-making 101. The follow up report the other day asking if Brussels had “warmed” to Tsipras’ ideas of debt consolidation spoke of potential cooperation between Greece and Russia in terms of commodities like gold, and “collateral” to ensure Russia’s “yield” on any deal would be guaranteed. What I did not speak of was long term gain for Russia, and all her investment interests, should Athens cement relations with Moscow. Here are some keen observations for predictive measures on the coming meetup.

To glimpse these other possibilities, a short lesson in geostrategy may be in order. Greece occupies a supremely strategic location in the eastern Mediterranean. The country’s control over the Aegean Sea, and the subsequent control of sea lanes in between Mediterranean and Black Sea ports, as well as islands close to Syria and to shipping lanes coming out of Egypt’s Suez Canal, make her crucial to any NATO or regional defense strategy. Added to this, the Aegean Sea is estimated to hold over four billion barrels of oil, not to mention key potential in other sectors. To fully understand this, a brief geography and politics reminded is necessary.

f16

Hellenic Air Force F16’s sortie – Greece spends billions on western weapons

Nixon Doctrine Backfire

In the centuries old game of European geostrategic maneuvering Greece and Russia have a special value. For the former, the theories of General Karl Haushofer and a new model of German lebensraum bear out Frau Angela Merkel’s Greece bailout dilemma in the coming weeks. As for Russia, at least in the case of Greece today, Alfred Thayer Mahan’s “The Problem of Asia” writings seem to be coming to fruition. For the sake of simplification, the United States, Germany, and especially NATO need Greece firmly in their grasp. Nay I’ll content here, the so-called western nations, will be in an untenable situation without the Greeks. That is, if some form of continued American-British hegemony is desirable. You see Mahan conceived of strategy before 1900 aimed at denying Russia commerce and emergence. His further theories also described “balancing” the Russia “threat” by creating a “force” in Turkey, Syria, and Mesopotamia (Iraq) to further prevent Russian expansion.

As we can easily see today, the “force” being exerted in 2015 is conflict and chaos. Truth be told, what we are witnessing is a backfire of a doctrine dreamed up by none other than Dr. Henry Kissinger, Richard Nixon’s Secretary of State, and the man you see defended by Senator John McCain in Senate hearings. It was Kissinger and Nixon who planned the realignment of power in the modern world, setting Russia and China against one another. His theories were later continued and expanded by Zbigniew Brzezinski, whom we see advising presidents continually since the Nixon years. Fast forward to today and a Russia benefiting from globalization, and the old game is not working so well any more. Unable to curtain Russia’s inevitable growth any longer, owing to the country’s vast untapped resources and emergent society, the NATO group have effectively lost (by their leaderships’ standards) the great Russophobic war. Now you’ve an admission ticket for what’s really set to happen in Moscow one month before the May 9th victory in WWII celebrations.

800px-Nixon_and_Kissinger_-_Flickr_-_The_Central_Intelligence_Agency

U.S. President Richard Nixon (left) and Henry Kissinger, National Security Adviser and Secretary of State, at the White House.

On April 8th Greece is set to become the most valuable piece of real estate among NATO nations. The people there having suffered long because of corruption inside and outside their borders, they’ve nothing to lose, no love lost for Germany or her NATO companions. In fairness, Greeks adore no nation so much as their own. I expect Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping have already set their minds as to what the “offer” will be. Having already agreed to join China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on April 14, Russia will in all likelihood make Tsipras a deal he cannot refuse. Some combination of massive Chinese money investment, a Gazprom deal from Russia of equivalent value, and Greece will be back in the game sans NATO, the euro, and worries about defense spending.

greecetank

Greece’s main battle tank – the German Leopard via Greek Military portal

A Case for Debt Do Over

Not many of the investors (except for Boeing, Raytheon, and others) who flocked to read the first of my stories (metrics tell me interest in Greece intense) are aware Greece spends more than all but one of the 27 NATO countries after the United States. By the way, the US,Germany, and France are the beneficiaries of Greece’s arms expenditures, so a chunk of the country’s current budget goes to defense contractors. No doubt news of this creates even more of an austerity sore for Greek taxpayers. Where the metal meets the meat in Moscow, I’d be dully surprised if Putin’s finance people did not advise Greece to take every advantage, then to default and return to the drachma, at which time Russia and China could easily escalate the currency buying into Greek endeavors. After all, the Obama administration’s easing off Goldman Sachs, when that firm’s involvement in the Greek crisis has yet to be resolved, leaves Tsipras’ situation as a “catch-as-catch-can ” choice.

After all is said and done, since when is cheating and defaulting on obligations a crime these days? Greece can earn €300 billion in one day, and another €300 billion in Gazprom gas, China capital, and Russian arms deals (Mr. Lavrov gives hints) to shortchange western manufacturers. Add in free flights from Moscow and St. Petersburg for the tourist season, and Greece could be the richest country in eastern Europe before summer’s end. Who could really blame the Greek people? American bankers double dipping, German arms dealers recouping revenue from EU bailouts, 30 percent unemployment and Germans here calling the Greeks “lazy” slackers? My only question is “when” will Portugal, Spain, and Italy tell Frankfurt and Washington to bugger off.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov spoke recently with Greece's FM - (The Ministry)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov spoke recently with Greece’s FM – (The Ministry)

In all seriousness, given the current situation in the United States, the UK, and in the EU debt wise, it seems clear “the west” cannot bid higher than China and Russia for Greece’s affections. The EU is in no position to either bail out Greece, or to contest Moscow in courting favor. The United States’ catastrophic foreign policy failures since 9/11, a debt bubble set to explode at home, and civil problems that would cripple any other country leave Washington scrambling to plug holes in the NATO alliance and the geostrategic limbo to come. The politicians in Washington not only have the world in a fix, but the American people are poised blindfolded on a fiscal cliff. David Stockman, former director of the Office of Management and Budget for President Ronald Reagan, says America is so addicted to debt a catastrophe is imminent. Experts from real estate legend Donald Trump to best selling author Robert Wiedemer have predicted as recently as this month a “bust” somewhere in between catastrophic and total collapse for the US economy.

All these variables and more weigh on Greece’s leader, the chorus of EU principals, and Washington looking on as the Russo-Greek summit awaits in Moscow. I was reading just now a sentient piece about Greece being able to seize opportunity in these critical times. Ideas like a Greek-Cypriote doctrine of common defense, “The New Grand Strategy of Greece and its Mediterranean Geostrategic Imperatives” by Alexander Th. Drivas, emerge as a new construct for the Greek people. It seems pertinent right here to point out Greece is actually a good investment for Putin, or anybody for that matter. The chart below shows the situation with deposits still higher than before the hyper inflated years that led to the country’s crash. An infusion of business in Greece can surely fund full recovery, especially if the country changes currency and affiliations. I’m no economists, but I know Russia’s fiscal experts have not overlooked the potential.

Via Peter Tenebrarum's Acting Man Blog

Via Peter Tenebrarum’s Acting Man Blog

It is also no insignificant that Russian Foreign Minister mentioned at a recent meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias the Orthodox religious ties Russia and Greece share. To quote Lavrov:

“In 2016, there will be another important anniversary: 1,000 years of a Russian monastic presence on Mount Athos – commemorative events have been planned.”

The gist of his ideas, rumors, and real tangible business do support my theory as to Putin’s upcoming offers to help Greece become the regional power it once was too. Clearly the Greeks stand to gain a lot more outside the EU and NATO, than they ever did clinging to bad ideas turned disastrous. Expect a big play in the news April 9th.

References:

http://russia-insider.com/en/geo-strategic-game-set-russo-greek-manacle/5205

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Advertisement
6 Comments

6
Leave a Reply

avatar
6 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
0 Comment authors
guitar pickscar cheap insurance quotext5m8ct4ykwk7rdywx8t54w5ctxsdfcmv49wyn6vectn84wv5tect45fc53nvb54wnxd5cbvbecnv5ev75bc Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
trackback

ccn2785xdnwdc5bwedsj4wsndb

[…]just beneath, are many totally not associated web sites to ours, on the other hand, they are certainly worth going over[…]

trackback

3nvb54wnxd5cbvbecnv5ev75bc

[…]below you will uncover the link to some sites that we think it is best to visit[…]

trackback

Title

[…]we came across a cool web page that you may well delight in. Take a search for those who want[…]

trackback

Title

[…]just beneath, are numerous totally not connected sites to ours, nonetheless, they may be surely worth going over[…]

trackback

Title

[…]Sites of interest we’ve a link to[…]

trackback

Title

[…]we came across a cool web page that you just could enjoy. Take a look in case you want[…]

Latest

US Blunders Have Made Russia The Global Trade Pivot

Even if Europe is somehow taken out of the trade equation, greater synergy between the RIC (Russia, India and China) nations may be enough to pull their nations through anticipated global volatilities ahead

The Duran

Published

on

Authored by Mathew Maavak via ActivistPost.com:


The year 2019 had barely begun before news emerged that six Russian sailors were kidnapped by pirates off the coast of Benin. It was perhaps a foretaste of risks to come. As nations reel from deteriorating economic conditions, instances of piracy and other forms of supply chain disruptions are bound to increase.

According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), 107 cases of piracy were noted during the first half of 2018 vis-à-vis 87 throughout 2017.  The 2018 tally included 32 cases in Southeast Asian waters and 48 along African shores – representing 75% of the total. To put this figure into perspective, Asian behemoths India and China – despite their vast shorelines – recorded only 2 cases of piracy each during the study period. Russia had none. In terms of hostages taken, the IMB tally read 102 in H1 2018 vs 63 in H1 2017.

Piracy adds to shipping and retail costs worldwide as security, insurance and salaries are hiked to match associated risks in maritime transport. Merchant vessels will also take longer and costlier routes to avoid piracy hotspots.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report in 2016 sums up the perils ahead:

As over 90% of global trade is carried out by sea, the economic effects of maritime crime can be crippling. Maritime crime includes not only criminal activity directed at vessels or maritime structures, but also the use of the high seas to perpetrate transnational organized crimes such as smuggling of persons or illicit substances.  These forms of maritime crime can have devastating human consequences.

Indeed, cases of human trafficking, organ harvesting, and the smuggling of illicit substances and counterfeit goods are proliferating worldwide in tandem with rising systemic debt and suspect international agendas.

Australia offers a case in point. While it fantasizes over a Quad of allies in the Indo-Pacific – to “save Asians from China” – criminal elements from Hong Kong, Malaysia to squeaky-clean Singapore have been routinely trafficking drugs, tobacco and people right into Sydney harbour for years,  swelling the local organised crime economy to as much as $47.4 billion (Australian dollars presumably) between 2016 and 2017.

With criminal elements expected to thrive during a severe recession, they will likely enjoy a degree of prosecutorial shielding from state actors and local politicians. But this is not a Southeast Asian problem alone; any superpower wishing to disrupt Asia-Europe trade arteries – the main engine of global growth – will have targets of opportunity across oceans and lands.  The US-led war against Syria had not only cratered one potential trans-Eurasia energy and trade node, it served as a boon for child traffickingorgan harvesting and slavery as well. Yet, it is President Bashar al-Assad who is repeatedly labelled a “butcher” by the Anglo-American media.

Ultimately, industries in Asia and Europe will seek safer transit routes for their products. The inference here is inevitable: the greatest logistical undertaking in history – China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – will be highly dependent on Russian security umbrella, particularly in Central Asia. Russia also offers an alternative transit option via the Northern Sea Route, thereby avoiding any potential pan-Turkic ructions in Central Asia in the future.

Russo- and Sinophobia explained?

In retrospect, Washington’s reckless policies post-Sept 11 2001 seem aimed at disrupting growing synergies between Asia and Europe. This hypothesis helps explain the relentless US-led agitprops against Russia, China and Iran.

When the gilet jaunes (yellow vest) protests rocked France weeks ago, it was only a matter of time before some pundits blamed it on Russia. US President Donald J. Trump cheered on; just as “billionaire activist” George Soros celebrated the refugee invasion of Europe and the Arab Spring earlier.  If the yellow vest contagion spreads to the Western half of Europe, its economies will flounder. Cui bono? A Russia that can reap benefits from the two-way BRI or Arctic trade routes or a moribund United States that can no longer rule roost in an increasingly multipolar world?

Trump’s diplomatic downgrade of the European Union and his opposition to the Nord Stream 2gas pipeline matches this trade-disruption hypothesis, as do pressures applied on India and China to drop energy and trade ties with Iran.  Washington’s trade war with Beijing and recent charges against Huawei – arguably Asia’s most valuable company – seem to fit this grand strategy.

If China concedes to importing more US products, Europe will bear the consequences. Asians love European products ranging from German cars to Italian shoes and Europe remains the favourite vacation destination for its growing middle class. Eastern European products and institutions are also beginning to gain traction in Asia. However, these emerging economies will suffer if their leaders cave in to Washington’s bogeyman fetish.

Even if Europe is somehow taken out of the trade equation, greater synergy between the RIC (Russia, India and China) nations may be enough – at least theoretically – to pull their nations through anticipated global volatilities ahead.

In the meantime, as the US-led world crumbles, it looks like Russia is patiently biding its time to become the security guarantor and kingmaker of Asia-Europe trade.  A possible state of affairs wrought more by American inanity rather than Russian ingenuity…

Dr Mathew Maavak is a regular commentator on risk-related geostrategic issues.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Historic Eastern Christianity: An Uncertain Future

The survival of historic Eastern Christianity, particularly in Syria, is critical for several reasons.

Strategic Culture Foundation

Published

on

Authored by Elias Samo via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The survival of historic Eastern Christianity has never been as urgent as it is today. Christianity saw its beginning in Greater Syria which was subdivided by France and Britain after WWI into modern day Syria, Lebanon, Palestian/Israel and Jordan. The land that housed, nurtured and spread the teachings of Jesus Christ for over two millenniums, now threatens children of that faith. The survival of historic Eastern Christianity, particularly in Syria, is critical for several reasons:

  1. Greater Syria is the homeland of Jesus and Christianity. Abraham was from modern day Iraq, Moses from Egypt, and Muhammad from Mecca; Jesus was from Syria.
  1. Paul converted to Christianity and saw the light while walking through ‘The Street Called Straight’ in Damascus.
  1. Jesus’ followers were called Christians for the first time in Antioch, formerly part of Syria.
  1. One of the earliest churches, perhaps the earliest, is in Syria.

The potential demise of historic Eastern Christianity is reflected in the key question Christians ask: should we stay or emigrate? The urgent question – in the face of the ongoing regional turmoil – precipitated with the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 and escalated since the Arab uprisings in 2011. Historic Eastern Christians’ fears were further magnified when Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim of the Syriac Orthodox Church and Archbishop Paul Yazigi of the Greek Orthodox Church, both of metropolitan Aleppo, were kidnapped on April, 22, 2013; with no traces of their whereabouts, dead or alive, since. For many years, I was deputy, friend, and advisor to the Archbishop Ibrahim, which provided me an opportunity to meet many Christians. I have, over time, noticed the change in their sentiment, with more considering emigration after the uprising and the kidnapping of the two Archbishops. Historic Eastern Christians survived the Ottoman Genocide in 1915 and thereafter; they multiplied and thrived in the Fertile Crescent despite some atrocities until the start of the misnamed “Arab Spring” in early 2011. Prior to the “Arab Spring”, historic Eastern Christians were victims of violence on several occasions. In the mid-1930s, the historic Assyrian community in Iraq suffered violent onslaughts and were driven to Syria. In the 1970s and 1980s, during the Lebanese Civil War, Christians were victims of sectarian violence. During the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, Christians were victims of widespread sectarian violence which led to mass migration. The “Arab Spring” began with great hope for the right of the people to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. However, it was swiftly hijacked by Islamists and Salafists and turned into an “Islamic Spring, an Arab Fall and a Christian Winter”; bringing along with it a new massacre of Christians. Presently, Eastern Christianity is at the mercy of clear and identifiable domestic, regional, and international, historic and contemporary conflicts in the Fertile Crescent, namely:

  1. Jihad vs. Ijtihad: A long standing conflict amongst Muslims between the sword vs. the pen.
  2. Sunni vs. Shiite: A conflict which began following the death of the Prophet Muhammad.
  3. Arabism vs. Islamism: The former has territorial limitations, the later has no territorial limitations.
  4. Syria vs. Israel: It is an essential component of the Palestinian problem, not the presumed Arab- Israeli conflict.
  5. West vs. East: A throwback to the Cold War, or its revival.
  6. Historic Persian, Ottoman and Arab Empires animosities: Each seeking regional hegemony.

One is reminded of the proverbial saying, “When the elephants fight, the grass suffers.” Certainly, Eastern Christianity is suffering and threatened with extinction.

Syria was a model of religious tolerance, common living and peaceful interaction amongst its religious, sectarian, cultural and ethnic components. Seven years of turmoil, in which various international and regional powers manipulated segments of Syrian society by supplying them with an abundance of weapons, money and sectarian ideologies, has heightened Eastern Christians’ fears. During the seven-year turmoil in Syria, the entire society has suffered; Sunnis, Shiites, Alawites, Yazidis, Kurds, Christians and others. Christians, being a weak and peaceful component of the society, have suffered immensely. Ma’aloula; a religious treasure for Christians globally, and the only city in the world where Aramaic – the language of Jesus Christ – is spoken, was attacked and besieged by ISIS. Numerous historic Churches were damaged, and many destroyed. Christians in Raqqa were forced by ISIS into one of three options: 1. Pay a penalty in pure gold – known as a ‘Jizya’ to keep their life and practice their faith – albeit in secret only; 2. Convert into Islam; or 3. Face immediate death. To top their pain, the kidnap of the two prominent Archbishops meant no Eastern Christian believer was safe.

Amidst all the doom and gloom, however, there remains hope. The survival of Christianity depends on the actions and reactions of three parties:

Eastern Christians: During the last hundred years, 1915-2015, since the Ottoman Genocide, Eastern Christians have been victims of a history of massacres, which meant that every Eastern Christian was a martyr, a potential martyr or a witness of martyrdom; if you fool me once, shame on you, if you fool me twice, shame on me. The ongoing regional turmoil has heightened their sense of insecurity. The answer to an age-old question Eastern Christians had on their mind: To flee Westwards or remain in their land, in the face of death, is increasingly becoming the former.

Eastern Muslims: There is a difference in perceptions between Eastern Christians and mainstream Muslims regarding the massacres committed against Christians. When certain violent groups or individuals kill Christians, while shouting a traditional Islamic profession: “No God but one God and Muhammad is God’s messenger”, it is reasonable for Christians to assume the killers are Muslims. However, for mainstream Muslims, the killers do not represent Islam; they are extremists, violating basic Islamic norms such as Muhammad’s sayings, “Whoever hurts a Thummy – Christian or Jew – has hurt me”, “no compulsion in religion” and other Islamic norms regarding just treatment of people of the Book; Christians and Jews. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the Muslim elites to impress upon their fellow Muslims that:

a. The three monotheistic religions believe in one God and all ‘faithfuls’ are equal in citizenship, rights and duties.

b. Christians participated in the rise of Arab Islamic civilization. They were pioneers in the modern Arab renaissance and they joined their Muslim brethren in resisting the Crusades, the Ottomans and Western colonialism.

c. Christians are natives of the land and they provide cultural, religious, educational, and economic, diversity.

d. Christians are a positive link between the Muslims and the Christian West, particularly in view of the rise of Islamophobia. Massacres of Christians and their migration provide a pretext for the further precipitation of Islamophobia.

e. Civilization is measured by the way it treats its minorities.

The Christian West: The Crusades, Western colonialism, creation and continued support of Israel, support of authoritarian Arab political systems, military interventions, regime change, and the destabilization of Arab states made Muslims view Eastern Christians ‘guilty by association’. The Christian West helped Jews come to Palestine to establish Israel. Shouldn’t the same Christian West also help Eastern Christians remain in their homeland, rather than facilitate their emigration? Western Christians, particularly Christian Zionists, believe that the existence of Israel is necessary for the return of Jesus to his homeland. However, it would be a great disappointment for Jesus to return to his homeland, Syria and not find any of his followers.

Prior to 2011, Eastern Christian religious leaders were encouraging Syrian Christians in the diaspora to return to Syria, their homeland, where life was safe and secure with great potential. Now, the same leaders are desperately trying to slow down Christian emigration. Eastern Christians’ loud cries for help to remain are blowing in the wind.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Protests erupt in Athens, as ‘North Macedonia’ vote fast approaches (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 62.

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

NATO and the EU are full of joy with the Prespes agreement, which is sure to pass the Greek Parliament and fast rack the newly minted Republic of North Macedonia into NATO and the EU.

Meanwhile in Athens and Skopje, anger is reaching dangerous levels, as each side debates the pros and cons of the deal inked by Tsipras and Zaev.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at yesterday’s protests in Athens, Greece, where things got very ugly as radical left Prime Minster Alexis Tsipras used tear gas and a heavy police hand to put down protests, that reached upwards of 60,000 people in the Syntagma downtown square.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Follow The Duran Audio Podcast on Soundcloud.

Via Ekathimerini

As Greece gets ready for a political showdown this week over the Prespes agreement, we are witnessing a relentless, often cynical, maneuvering between parties, their leaders and even individual deputies.

What is at stake is not only the ratification of the deal between Athens and Skopje, but also the potential redrawing of the domestic political map.

Greek society and the country’s political world are deeply divided. The public is clearly against the deal, with up to 70% opposed to it.

The tens of thousands that demonstrated in Sunday’s rally in Athens, showed once more that sentiments run high.

The violence, which the Prime Minister blamed on extremists, while the opposition leader criticized the extended use of tear gas and called for an investigation to find out who was responsible, is indicative of the slippery slope the country is facing in the months leading to the national elections.

Despite the voices of reason calling for a minimum of cooperation and looking for common ground, Alexis Tsipras and Kyriakos Mitsotakis are in an all out war.

The leftist Prime Minister is attempting to use the Prespes agreement to create a broad “progressive” coalition that extends well beyond SYRIZA, while the conservative opposition leader, who is leading in the polls, is trying to keep his party united (on the name issue there are differing approaches) and win the next elections with an absolute majority.

With respect to the Prespes deal itself, the rare confluence of shrewd political considerations with deeply held feelings about one’s history, makes for an explosive mix and ensures a heated debate in parliament.

As for the raw numbers, despite the public opposition, the passage of the Prespes agreement in the 300 member Greek Parliament should be considered a done deal. In the most plausible senario 153 deputies will support the deal in the vote expected later in the week.

The governing SYRIZA has 145 deputies, and one should add to those the positive votes of Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura, centrist To Potami deputies Stavros Theodorakis, Spyros Lykoudis and Giorgos Mavrotas, former To Potami MP Spiros Danellis, and ANEL MP Thanasis Papachristopoulos.

This leads to a majority of 151. Last night one more positive vote was announced, that of Thanasis Theocharopoulos, leader of Democratic Left which untill now was part of the Movement for Change coalition, from which he was ejected as a result of his decision to support the deal.

Finally, Citizens Security Deputy Minister Katerina Papacosta, a former member of New Democracy, is expected to also vote for the agreement, but has not officially said so. Thus, for all practical purposes, the Prespes agreement is expected to pass, with 152 or 153 votes.

Former Prime Minister George Papandreou, who is not a member of parliament and who has worked tiressly on the issue, both as foreign minister and PM, has gone public in support of the deal.

Despite the discomfort this move created in the leadership of the Movement for Change, doing otherwise would have made him look inconsistent. As he is not voting, the damage is seen as limited, although the symbolism does not help the Movement for Change approach.

To the extent that Greece’s transatlantic partners and allies want to see the agreement implemented, they should feel relief. Of course, nothing is done until the “fat lady sings”, but one can clearly hear her whispering the notes in the corridors of the Greek Parliament.

Still, for the astute observer of Greek politics and the foreign officials and analysts who value the crucial role of Greece as an anchor of stability in the Balkans – being by far the strongest country in this region, both militarily and economically, despite the crisis of the last eight years – the deep divisions the issue has created in the society and the political world, are a cause for concern and could spell trouble in the future.

Dealing with such a volatile landscape calls for delicate moves by all.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

JOIN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Advertisement

Advertisement

Quick Donate

The Duran
EURO
DONATE
Donate a quick 10 spot!
Advertisement
Advertisement

Advertisement

The Duran Newsletter

Trending