NATO's Balkans Actions Threaten Greece
- Subject: NATO's Balkans Actions Threaten Greece
- From: "glr" <glr.y at iol.it>
- Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2001 22:18:01 +0200
- Priority: normal
Subject: NATO's Balkans Actions Threaten Greece
Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2001 01:23:48 -0700 (PDT)
From: Rick Rozoff
ATHENS, MONDAY, JULY 2, 2001
...EU and NATO involvement has intensified rather than
defused the Balkans crisis. It first encouraged the
fragmentation of the Yugoslav federation and then, via
NATO's military campaign, fueled Albanian nationalism,
which now threatens the integrity of the Former
Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia.
...the growth of organized crime based on extensive
arms- and drugs-trafficking in areas controlled by
Albanian terrorist organizations also undermines
Greece and the Balkan crisis
By Costas Iordanidis
The escalating crisis in the Balkans may prove more
serious for Greece than is the Turkish threat. As a
constitutional state with predictable reflexes, and
having a strategy that has been clear for many
decades, Turkey can be more easily dealt with than the
highly volatile situation on the country's
The Greek government seems to be barricading itself
behind joint EU and NATO action. Via their rhetoric,
these organizations are trying to elicit compliance by
the conflicting parties, and are promising economic
aid without having so far contributed the requisite
But EU and NATO involvement has intensified rather
than defused the Balkans crisis. It first encouraged
the fragmentation of the Yugoslav federation and then,
via NATO's military campaign, fueled Albanian
nationalism, which now threatens the integrity of the
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The most
alarming fact is that the most powerful Western
countries, under the leadership of former US president
Bill Clinton, have violated all sense of international
legality. NATO's campaign against Serbia was conducted
without a previous order by the UN Security Council,
and it concerned a domestic situation similar to the
one plaguing Turkey for over 20 years.
Slobodan Milosevic's extradition was carried out by
Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, who was
encouraged by his Western patrons to ignore the
decision taken by Yugoslavia's Constitutional Court.
Legality in the southwestern Balkans seems to be only
of slight importance, which in itself should concern
the Greek government. But the consequences for Greece
do not stop there. The fall of communism in the region
has also given the country the advantage of expanding
its political and economic influence to the north.
There have, of course, been mistakes as Greek policy
has adapted to the new conditions, but there was a
striking mobilization at the economic level.
Instability in southeastern Europe has harmed Greek
interests. Many Greek entrepreneurs have pulled out of
Albania. Those who invested in Kosovo and Serbia have
suffered serious losses, and $300 million worth of
Greek investments in FYROM are in danger, as the
country's very future looks uncertain.
These unfavorable developments may drive Greek
entrepreneurs back home or lead them to widen their
search for new markets. In any case, the prospect of a
northern expansion of Greek influence has been
At the political level, and after numerous errors, we
have restored relations with neighboring governments.
This, however, has done little to reinforce our
feeling of security, for developments seem to be less
determined by governments and more by Albanian
extremists whose actions are fueling Slav nationalism.
Finally, the growth of organized crime based on
extensive arms- and drug-trafficking in areas
controlled by Albanian terrorist organizations also
undermines regional stability.
In terms of military power Greece is not threatened by
its neighbors, but this is of little comfort because
the threat of internal destabilization and damage to
national interests has intensified.