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For a Truly National Foreign Policy

The historian of the future will characterize the day of the debate in Greek Parliament on the Ukrainian issue as the beginning of a positive change in the handling of Greece’s foreign policy issues. It will see it as a correct turn in the pursuit of a strategy that serves its national interests, with the country actively participating in wider crises, as is the case now with Ukraine, in the context of the alliances to which it belongs, as opposed to its insecure absence as well as its distancing from global events and alliance responsibilities

There may be some exaggeration in the Prime Minister’s claim that Greece has always been on the right side of history. It is absolutely correct, however, that Greece stood on the right side of history in critical national moments, such as, for example, the Balkan wars and the two World Wars, resulting in unimaginable benefits to the country.
For decades, however, political demagogues have imposed a voluntary isolation on Greece in the name of slogans, which, although they sound noble, do not serve the purposes they invoke.

For example: “Peace!”
Who does not want peace in the world? The question is, however, how is it achieved? With wishes or through a strong economy and the strengthening of the armed forces of a country?

And yet, how does a country perceive the alliances to which one belongs? Is the relationship one-sided? Does it participate only when it needs them, when it serves its interests but acts like an ostrich, burying its head in the sand when the potential political costs seem too high?

Observing official Greek visits to Washington for years, I know that one of the big problems faced by the Greek representatives in America was that, while Greece was always asking for help – from the Aegean to the Cyprus issue to investment and tourism – they had nothing to offer to begin the discussion. They could not say that they had offered their active participation with military forces in some American conflict. Something that the Turks did with forces, so that they could appear useful.

This is the first time after many decades that a Greek Prime Minister stood on the floor of Parliament and proclaimed – with courage, and persuasion – a  new philosophy, a new truly national strategy, which puts the country unreservedly on the right side of history.

“We live with the plague of [the occupation] of Cyprus and we face threats to our islands. We cannot just stand by with indifference with authoritarian leaders who want to redraw borders,” said Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
And he added with emphasis: “Equal distance does not fit here. You either stand with peace and international law, or against it.”

On the other hand, the leader of the official opposition in his speech stated that the Prime Minister “does not take enough account of the sensitive position of Greece, the agitated Aegean, and, ultimately, of our national interests during an international crisis.”

But these are the reasons… the national interest that dictate this policy.

National interests demand that the country participate today on the side of the NATO Alliance and Europe against Russia’s threats to drown the world in blood.


This article is part of a continuing series dealing with reports of Greek POWs in Asia Minor in the Thessaloniki newspaper, Makedonia in July 1936.

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