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This is realpolitik, stupid! | eKathimerini.com

This is realpolitik, stupid!  |  eKathimerini.com

 


This is realpolitik, stupid!

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis addresses supporters at a rally in Imathia on Thursday evening, during a campaign tour of northern Greece ahead of European Parliament elections next month. [Dimitris Papamitsos/Prime Minister’s Office/via AMNA]

Realpolitik is going through a difficult period. A few weeks before the European elections, and especially at a time when the Greek Prime Minister is making a difficult tour in the traditionally ultra-patriotic north of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis is called upon to defy the political cost and confirm family tradition on issues of in foreign policy, his father and sister have done so in the past.

During his one-day visit to Ankara, he was partially successful and very few voices (the usual suspects) accused him of selling out Greek interests. His response was also cold towards the arrival of Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama in Athens, the only worrying element of which was the timing. However, SYRIZA, the main opposition party, is now presenting to Parliament for ratification the three cooperation memoranda signed by Greece with North Macedonia, days after the neighboring country's newly elected president, Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova, questioned the Prespa agreement. .

This is a complex challenge for Mitsotakis. On the one hand, he must prove to Skopje that Greece is the guardian of international law and international agreements, and on the other, it is difficult for him to justify the diplomatic success of his predecessor, Alexis Tsipras, whom he undermined as leader of the time. the opposition. Obviously, SYRIZA's initiative to submit the memorandums is not accidental. Cornering the Prime Minister was exactly his goal.

In foreign policy, however, all major parties could demonstrate a responsible attitude. Stirring up nationalism (as SYRIZA leader Stefanos Kasselakis did while visiting ethnic Greek villages in Albania) only encourages political extremes. This is why playing on such issues before the elections should be avoided, because the consequences are irreversible.

Realpolitik dictates the following: Mitsotakis managed to find common ground on trade, health and disaster management, even with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who until recently threatened to suddenly come a night. On weekends, half of Skopje residents travel to Thessaloniki for shopping and entertainment. A possible crisis in our bilateral relations would seriously harm this lucrative trend. Albanians in Greece build and repair our houses, do their hair and hair, take care of their children and grandparents. It is better not to fear their relationship with their country of origin, but to seek their rapid integration.

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