Here’s Why the Greek Crisis is Turning into a Strategic Issue for Europe




As the Eurogroup — criticised for stubborn inflexibility by some –again kicks a solution to the Greek crisis down the road, the risk is growing of Grexit (forced out) or Greccident (falls out unwittingly) and this outcome is made more piquant by the strategic impact of a Greco–Russian rapprochement.

Yanis Varoufakis is the current Finance Minister of Greece

Yanis Varoufakis is the current Finance Minister of Greece

Some suggest the two Orthodox states share considerably more in common than Greece does with its fellow European Union states, and this issue is now worrying Washington and even some of the diehards in Brussels. For if Greece defaults and then moves into Moscow’s orbit, the south-eastern Nato and EU flanks could shatter.

As Greece and Russia “breathe new life into their ancient Eastern alliance” the thesis that the Greeks are not really a  “Western” state, is examined here The Greeks are not ‘Western’ : “The imperial giant driving a wedge through European unity and the tiny state drowning in debt are locked in a controversial canoodle. Call it an Orthodox big wet kiss, but modern ties between Greece and Russia are cementing ancient ones.”

The Bloomberg video below explains some of the background to the crisis and asks if Greece will go or stay:

 

Meanwhile the www.politico.eu website April 23 reports that “top executives on Wall Street and senior policy makers in Washington are warning their European counterparts not to let Greece default and leave the eurozone, fearing the market reaction at a time of sluggish growth in the U.S. and instability in the global economy…”

Over at Zerohedge reports suggests everything has gone back to square one in negotiations to end the Greek debt impasse. “Just to hammer that point in once again, earlier today Greek FinMin Yanis Varoufakis told a French magazine that the risk that Greece would have to leave the euro if it has to accept more austerity is no bluff, saying that no one could predict what the consequences of such an exit would be. Or, back to square one, which as we explained in February, is a battle of leverage: is the threat to Europe from a Grexit higher than the threat to Greece from ending up without funds.

“In a conversation with philosopher Jon Elster conducted at the end of March and published in France’s Philosophie Magazine, Varoufakis, a specialist in game theory, said this was not the time to bluff over Greece’s debt talks.

” ‘We cannot bluff anymore. When I say that we’ll end up leaving the euro, if we have to accept more unsustainable austerity, this is no bluff,” Varoufakis is quoted as saying.

‘Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called for a speeding up of work to conclude a reform-for-cash deal with euro zone creditors to keep his country afloat after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday.

‘The leftist Greek premier met the conservative German leader a day before euro zone finance ministers meet in Riga to review progress – or the lack of it – in slow-moving negotiations between Athens and its international lenders’ “.

An increasing range of views suggests the financial turmoil that could follow a Greek default should not be underestimated, particularly its effects on a weak and faltering recovery among EU economies and specifically in France.

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