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Greece is not part of Western civilization, but it was the home of the Classical civilization which was an important source of Western civilization. In their opposition to the Turks, Greeks historically have considered themselves spear-carriers of Christianity. Unlike Serbs, Romanians, or Bulgarians, their history has been intimately entwined with that of the West. Yet Greece is also an anomaly, the Orthodox outsider in Western organizations. It has never been an easy member of either the EU or NATO and has had difficulty adapting itself to the principles and mores of both. From the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s it was ruled by a military junta, and could not join the European Community until it shifted to democracy. Its leaders often seemed to go out of their way to deviate from Western norms and to antagonize Western governments. It was poorer than other Community and NATO members and often pursued economic policies that seemed to flout the standards of prevailing in Brussels.  Its behavior as president of the EU's Council in 1994 exasperated other members, and Western European officials privately label its membership a mistake. ...

With the end of the Soviety Union and the communist threat, Greece has mutual interests with Russia in opposition to their common enemy, Turkey.  It has permitted Russia to establish a significant presence in Greek Cyprus, and as a result of their "shared Eastern Orthodox religion," the Greek Cypriots have welcomed both Russians and Serbs to the island.  In 1995 some two thousand Russian-owned businesses were operating in Cyprus; Russian and Serbo-Croatian newspapers were published there; and the Greek Cyrpriot government was purchasing major supplies of arms from Russia.  Greece also explored with Russia the possibility of bringing oil from the Caucasus and Central Asia to the Mediterranean through a Bulgarian-Greek pipeline bypassing Turkey and other Muslim countries.  Overall Greek foreign policies have assumed a heavily Orthodox orientation.  Greece will undoubtedly remain a formal member of NATO and the European Union.  As the process of cultural reconfiguration intensifies, however, those memberships also undoubtedly will become more tenuous, less meaningful, and more difficult for the parties involved.  The Cold War antagonist of the Soviet Union is evolving into the post-Cold War ally of Russia.

The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, p.162-163



Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire
by marco on Sat Mar 1st, 2014 at 09:06:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you for this...that's exactly what western Europe (and west as such) think about Greeks.They west and Greece needed each other and that's a relationship made of interest not of love OR RESPECT...
Greece is strategically located in the Southern region of the Alliance, in close vicinity to South Eastern Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East and North Africa. This broad region, as recently demonstrated, is characterised by geopolitical uncertainty and multiple and adverse strategic interests.

Membership to NATO is a fundamental pillar of Greece's defence and security architecture together with its EU membership. Since its accession in 1952, Greece has contributed to Euro-Atlantic security and at the same time has been protected by the security umbrella the Alliance offers its members.  


http://www.nato.int/docu/review/2012/Turkey-Greece/Greece-NATO-partnership/EN/index.htm
Contrary to this theory up here is fact that EU now has two more orthodox religious countries... Bulgaria and Romania. Again this acceptation of those countries came not from love or respect but interest. I am not sure that they as Greeks to this day will ever be respected let alone loved as a "family members".
Europeans will respect Chines ( for their money) but never their own poor Europeans. That is a cultural difference between East and west. Even with all endemic corruption interestingly Eastern world have respect for things other then money (or not just money). Western world will lay in bad with a devil when it comes to money. Sorry guys but it's just my opinion ( and of course I am not having in mind that much ordinary people but more like higher class that are rulling your world).  

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sat Mar 1st, 2014 at 09:49:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Even with all endemic corruption interestingly Eastern world have respect for things other then money (or not just money).

Let's apply your vague claim of your own Clash of Civilisations framing to the specific example you brought up: attitudes towards immigrants. Can you present me an example of the poor welcomed and the rich not welcomed in what you categorise as the East? Furthermore, whose welcome do you mean exactly? It's not like the British state's and the City's welcome for Russian oligarchs is met by the population at large or the media elite.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Mar 4th, 2014 at 05:18:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but the City is a legitimate oligarchy with perfectly legitimate oligarchs, some of whom even have knighthoods.

While all those Eastern countries over there used to be communist, or they were run by dictators, or brown people, or something, I forget now.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Mar 4th, 2014 at 08:30:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not very convincing, to put it mildly. A pipeline avoiding Muslim country aligns Greece perfectly with Western Europe. Nato? What are the problems? Interaction with Turkey? Hardly an Orthodox Christian problem (as opposed to Christian in general). Is there anything else comparable with France's refusal to help go after Iraq's WMD? Rich Russians investing in Cyprus? What about in London? Buying arms from Russia? Maybe because they are cheaper (see Turkey trying to buy arms from China).

EU? Some unnamed officials saying that their admission was a mistake? What do they say about the UK? Dictatorship? Put in there with Western support (and is he aware of the fact that Catholic Spain and Portugal were also military dictatorships?). Finall,

It was poorer than other Community and NATO members

I though the whole point was that cultural, not economic, fracture lines were the main issue.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Mar 2nd, 2014 at 01:12:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not to mention that current close ties with Serbia were enhanced by joint enmity of their own nationalisms to Albanian and Macedonian nationalism, and Macedonians are Orthodox, too.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Mar 2nd, 2014 at 07:13:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A point on Cyprus: at one time DoDo and I were doing some research (that didn't turn out to be particularly interesting enough to communicate) that led to oligarch activity in Czech Republic and Slovakia. The (even smalltime) oligarchic setups we looked at controlled ramified holdings and front companies, as expected. They were massively present in Cyprus (front companies, letter boxes, financial interests).

Perhaps, rather than suggesting an Orthodox link, we should be looking at Cyprus as a tax haven that has been accommodating to oligarchic interests in former Eastern bloc countries, whatever the religious heritage.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Mar 2nd, 2014 at 04:03:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One further comment (or, in this case, question)

Russian and Serbo-Croatian newspapers were published there

What on earth is a Serbo-Croatian newspaper? While I get the impression that the differences between Serbian and Croatian are no different from the differences between English and American, surely the situation is different with newspapers? If Serbian is always written in Cyrillic and Croatian in Latin characters, won't a newspaper (unlike the spoken language) will almost always be one or the other?

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Mar 2nd, 2014 at 05:06:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Serbo-Croatian - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Serbo-Croatian, also called Serbo-Croat, Serbo-Croat-Bosnian (SCB),[6] or Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (BCS), is a South Slavic language and the primary language of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. It is a pluricentric language with four mutually intelligible standard varieties.

The language was standardized in the mid-19th century, decades before a Yugoslav state was established.[7]

As to how it is written:

Serbo-Croatian - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Through history, this language has been written in a number of writing systems:

[...]

All in all, this makes Serbo-Croatian the only Slavic language to officially use both the Latin and Cyrillic scripts, albeit the Latin version is more commonly used.

In both cases, spelling is phonetic and spellings in the two alphabets map to each other one-to-one:

How the paper in Cyprus did, I don't know.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Mar 3rd, 2014 at 01:53:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let me pick out a few more bits from this horribly jumbled assemblage of vagueness masquerading as a line of argument about Greece:

Unlike Serbs, Romanians, or Bulgarians, their history has been intimately entwined with that of the West.

In what way is Romania's and Serbia's relationship with the Kingdom of Hungary and later the Habsburg Empire a weaker tie than whatever Greece had before WWII?

It has never been an easy member of either the EU or NATO

Has that uneasiness ever approached the uneasiness of France in NATO and Britain or Denmark in the EU? Not to mention NATO non-member and EU semi-sceptic Sweden?

From the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s it was ruled by a military junta, and could not join the European Community until it shifted to democracy.

As opposed to Spain & Portugal (no democracies for much longer periods)? Not to mention post-communist Central Europe (which wasn't all that democratic before WWII either)?

Its leaders often seemed to go out of their way to deviate from Western norms and to antagonize Western governments.

Without saying which are the Western norms in question and what were the concrete examples of deviations, this means nothing. Or, more correctly, it expects the reader to fill in with his own prejudices.

It was poorer than other Community and NATO members

Not poorer than Portugal. For that matter, at the time of their accession, Spain and Ireland were pretty poor, too.

Its behavior as president of the EU's Council in 1994 exasperated other members

...as opposed to which other presidency, exactly? But I'm not sure what he refers to in case of the 1994 Greece presidency: possibly the sanctions in the FYROM dispute or Greece's insistence on granting Cyprus and Malta membership candidate status.

bringing oil from the Caucasus and Central Asia to the Mediterranean through a Bulgarian-Greek pipeline

Ignoring for a moment that this is first and foremost an economic matter, nothing happened for 15 years while the project evolved into the South Stream project. However, at the end, the Greece route was abandoned, because Greece chose the rival Trans Adriatic Pipeline project, which involves Italian, French, German, Norwegian and Azeri companies. Meanwhile South Stream went ahead on a different route, with every other Balkans country plus Hungary, Austria and Italy on-board. And even this Greece-avoiding South Stream was overtaken in time by the already operating Nord Stream to Germany – so much for that supposed Orthodox special relationship.

The Cold War antagonist of the Soviet Union is evolving into the post-Cold War ally of Russia.

18 years have now passed but this didn't came to be, even as Greece has suffered through five years of enforced austerity.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Mar 4th, 2014 at 06:10:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Special Bingo! Award.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Mar 5th, 2014 at 02:29:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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