The playing field in the EU has cleared up. The German presidency has managed to create a climate against the imposition of sanctions on Turkey. In other words, Turkey will land on its feet. This development does not mean that Greek diplomacy wrongly tried, and is still trying. However, it delimits the boundaries that, at last, should be taken into account, even by Athens, given that they show what we can expect from the European Union. In essence, this means that Athens has the responsibility of examining, even belatedly, alternative solutions, and to reexamine the way it has moved within the EU.
Comment by STAVROS LYGEROS
Let me be more specific. It is high time that Greece instead of denouncing Turkey for moving beyond international law should raise the bar and accuse within the EU Turkey of attacking it. The fact that, so far, there has not been an attack against territorial integrity does not mean that there hasn’t been an attack against its sovereign rights. This is also an attack.
Greece, therefore, can invoke the relevant article of the Treaty of Lisbon to demand of the EU to mobilize and stand by the member state that is suffering the attack.
In any event, this would not be the first time. France had done so when it incurred the attack of Islamist terrorism after the slaughter at Bataclan. This would constitute a change of course within the EU.
However, beyond this required change, Athens should reexamine all its capabilities for reinforcing its deterrent strategy. The defense agreement signed by Greece and the UAE is a step in the right direction.
More specifically, Athens should have taken steps in this direction with Egypt, and it should already have happened. And also, in whatever idiosyncratic way, it should do so with Israel. However, France is the most significant player in the Mediterranean.
There, however, lies a problem that we have touched upon in previous articles. Athens must set aside its regressions (we’ve had two so far) that have damaged its relations with Paris. Therefore it must clearly orient itself towards attaining a mutual defense agreement with France.
The Mitsotakis government must, therefore, make clear whether what is being leaked from the French side that Greece is willing in deed and in binding terms to stand by Greece in the event of an armed conflict with Turkey.
This element is decisive even in the choice of weapon system procurements. Because if France is reliable and there is such a mutual defense agreement all factors on the Greek Turkish front will be overturned.