The U.S.-Greece agreement signed in the U.S. capital, namely the Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement, is certainly an important defense agreement that serves the interests of both countries.
It is indeed “a vote of confidence in Greece,” as the Prime Minister stated, in contrast to unreliable Turkey.
It is an agreement that adds a substantial layer of security, regardless of whether it does or does not presuppose something similar to paragraph five (5) of the NATO charter, where an attack on one country is an attack on all, despite words to the contrary by the Greek Foreign Minister.
Of course, not everything that the Greek side would have wanted was secured – nor was it possible for it to be secured. Regardless, the new ‘indefinite’ agreement is a new leap forward in relations between the two countries, for mutual benefit.
However, in addition to the benefits of the agreement itself, there is another significant benefit; a great victory for Greek society and the state – although it is not celebrated as it should be.
Only a few decades ago, the American bases in Greece would provoke intense anti-Americanism. They were the hated “bases of death,” which the late Andreas Papandreou used as a vehicle for the creation of a mass political movement.
They were the cause of massive demonstrations and the justification for the overthrow of principles, values, and traditions that are absent today from Greek society.
That “the bases of death” did not leave, and that “the struggle was not fulfilled,” did not seem to bother the ‘true believers’ of the PASOK Movement then.
But now, the complete legitimization of the bases and their gradual recognition from the people of Greece as an important tool in securing national sovereignty has become possible due, incidentally, to the Left. The left side of the political spectrum is the only aspect of the Greek political world that can sway, credibly, public opinion on the issue due to SYRIZA’s opposition – led by Alexis Tsipras.
I do not think that Tsipras’s visit to the White House of Donald Trump – their hugs, the warm words of support, where it was agreed to add new bases in U.S. Greece – has been forgotten.
But regardless of this, the point is that a necessary step was then taken in the restoration of allied relations between the two states.
Of course, Greece was only able to get language to the effect that it is a stable ally and not the “strategic partner” that Turkey has had since 2009.
And America, contrary to the statements of the Greek Foreign Minister, did not secure the “protection of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Greece… including armed attack or threat.”
But neither did these words mortgage the future of the bases, as some believe.
This is just ‘political talk.’