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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
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