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OPINIONS

The Coronavirus is Winning; Erdogan is Losing

Let’s change the subject today. We can’t talk about the coronavirus all the time. We will go crazy.

After all, what is the value of saying that our lives have changed. This is no longer news.
It is not even worth mentioning that our President has tested negative for the virus.

That our lives have changed is now obvious. Take a stroll outside your home and you’ll find out. The roads are almost empty. The stores – except for the supermarkets – are shuttered.

Churches, if they are open, are empty. Schools across the nation are closing one after another. What else could they do?

Stay inside, shut the coronavirus outside: that was the right message for Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to send to his countrymen.

And they listened.

For example, of the nearly 20 National Herald staffers in Athens, only three are now working from our offices. The rest are working from their homes.

The situation is similar at our offices in New York. The only ones who cannot work from their homes are the printers and drivers. Unless we get to the point where the Governor bans traffic on city streets, we will not stop issuing The National Herald. In that case, we’ll just have to publish it electronically.

Thousands of our readers already read us online, here and around the world – www.ekirikas.com and thenationalherald.com. And we have decided to present the articles on the coronavirus for free. It’s the least we could do.

So things have changed very much recently – and they keep changing from day to day.
But we said we should talk about something other than the coronavirus. And something pleasant.

And the good news I’m referring to relates to Erdogan, the Turkish President.

But you tell me this is an oxymoron.

Because nothing pleasant can be associated with Erdogan.

And yet, in this case, the words go together.

Erdogan, according to Saturday’s New York Times, is pulling back in the war he waged against Greece by weaponizing thousands of migrants/refugees.

He is moving them back away from the border Turkey shares with Greece. And he is stopping all those trying to reach the border.

Greek officials, according to the newspaper, said the number of people who tried to cross the border had been reduced from a few thousand a day to a few hundred, and on Friday, no one was able to cross.

One reason is that Greece has shown strength. It has shown that it is determined to protect its borders.

The other reason is that Erdogan’s blackmail on the European Union was so offensive that it had the opposite effect. Instead of forcing them to give him what he asked for in his war in Syria, he made them turn against him.

And this is fortunate. For if Turkey’s blackmail had worked, if the EU did not show solidarity with Greece, then this would amount to a new major structural weakness that would raise the question of the EU’s very existence.

Of course, his defeat by the EU will not lead the Turkish President to change his mind. It will just force him to change tactics.

That is why Greece must remain vigilant. This crisis, like the crisis with the coronavirus, will not disappear overnight.

It will take many battles on both fronts to win these wars.

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