Destinations Magazine

A Semi-guided Missile

By Stizzard
A semi-guided missile

NEVER imagine that the euro zone is the only club in which Greece is a maverick player. The Hellenic relationship with NATO, and bilateral defence ties with the United States, have long been important (although many would say diminishing) and contested.

Whatever the strains, America has often put discreet pressure on its European allies to avoid a rift with Greece, as much because of geopolitics as economics. In recent days, that pressure has been felt once more. It is not just linked to the services that Greece now delivers to NATO, which are modest; it also reflects the perils that would arise if Greece cut loose from all western clubs.

In many ways, the odd thing about Greek-NATO relations is not the history of tension but the fact that they exist at all. On the Hellenic left, it is axiomatic that Greece suffers from being a pawn in western strategic games which connived at military rule from 1967 to 1974.

Greece quit NATO’s military wing for six years in 1974 after Turkey overran northern Cyprus; in 1981 leftists took power, pledging to expel American bases and ultimately take Greece out of NATO. In the…

The Economist: Europe

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