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Europe's outrage by Tsipras' visit to Putin, is hypocritical.
by Christos Mouzeviris
2015-04-22 12:06:59
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chr01_400_02On the 8th of April 2015, Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras visited the Russian capital Moscow, to hold talks with Vladimir Putin.

As expected, the European media found another opportunity for mud throwing against the Greek Left-wing government. 
Speculations about what will Greece compromise and if Russia will offer money to the indebted country, dominated the European social media.
Most European analysts and commentators, feared that Greece will slip into the arms of Russia; breaking Europe's foreign policy and common stance on the Ukrainian situation.

Besides, what has Europe done so far for Ukraine, apart from sanctioning Russia, harming its own economy collaterally? 
These views have no base and are signs of a mass hysteria, propaganda and an agenda to discredit the newly elected "radical" Greek government.

First of all Greece is a sovereign nation and it can do business with anyone it thinks appropriate. I can't recall any of Greece's European partners, from East or West, siding or supporting Greece on its national issues such as the Cyprus problem, the FYROM issue or Turkey. 
Every European government is allowed to follow its own policies, according their interests and needs. Besides, since Europe's treatment of Greece for the past 6 years has been unacceptable, it itself pushes the country towards Putin.

Secondly, the probability of Greece re-positioning itself closer to Russia is practically zero, as long as Greece remains a full member of European institutions and NATO (The Guardian). It is thus unlikely that Russia will proceed towards a closer relationship with a US ally.
Similar scenarios were played during the Cypriot bail-out. Everyone in Greece and Cyprus counted on Russia for their support, citing their close historic and religious ties. None of the hypotheses came true; the Russians were not interested.
Greece has always been close to Russia for various reasons throughout its history, that is a fact. However many other European nations have close ties with countries outside our continent on similar grounds. Plus Greece has decided on its allegiance long ago; its population is far more pro-European than many other EU member states'.
It is peculiar that the European public opinion worries about Greece, yet nobody does so about the lack of democracy and transparency in EU, or the fact that people bail out banks. As if Greece is Europe's biggest problem, not austerity. 
The diminution of our worker's and human rights across the Union is scandalous. The European media instead of focusing on the above issues, they are trying to disorient the continent's public opinion. Greece reaching out to Russia for help is not news; the fact that Europe is unwilling to help the ordinary Greek people is. 
The European elites are desperate to bring the Syriza government down and they are using the media to spread their propaganda. They fear that if a Leftist government succeeds more countries will follow its example, threatening the neo-liberal agenda that the EU institutions have been promoting for decades.
But by scolding Syriza and its leader so much, they may get something even worse: the far Right is still prominent in Greece. The Golden Dawn is the third party in the country right now and France, together with many other countries are not far behind.
Europe should be glad that the Greeks went leftward instead or Right wing. Syriza is more manageable than Golden Dawn. The current government has many high ranked university professors in its cabinet, unlike the Golden Dawn, whose members are often involved in criminal activities. 
Besides, the average Greek citizens were forced to chose this government, by the ruthless measures that were imposed on them. Similar reaction we observed in the past in Germany itself. 
A deep recession combined with an international humiliation, resulted in the far Right Nazi party to come to power. It seems that Europe never learns from its mistakes.
It is up to the EU to gain the hearts of the ordinary Greeks again, by showing a bit of tolerance and compromise. Not for the sake of Syriza, but for Greece's citizens, the unity of the EU and the euro. If the Greeks see some relief and an end to the constant humiliation, they may gladly return to the established, mainstream political parties. 
Greece does not need more debt thrown on it, in the form of a third bailout. The country now needs some growth and investments to lift its population out of poverty, kick-starting its economy. Yet the European elites are too arrogant and blind to realize the plight of the citizens from a "peripheral" economy. 
Finances to them are far more important, than living standards and human dignity. In the beginning they blamed the Greek people's alleged "laziness" for the crisis in the country. When this argument was burst, they then used the tax evasion argument. 
It was then discovered that German companies were among the bigger tax evaders in Greece, or that Holland and Luxembourg are contributing to the problem by acting as tax havens. 
So they now argue on the importance of sticking to the rules and honoring the previous government's signatures. European elites clearly don't like democracy enough, to respect the Greek electorate's wish to end austerity. 
Apart from being isolated, Greece is now further ridiculed. Countries like Spain or Portugal, who would ideally benefit from a Syriza victory are distancing themselves from it, because they have Right wing governments. Their leadership belongs to the same European political group as Angela Merkel's party. 
It is also noticeable that most Eastern European countries are seemingly against Greece. Partly because they have been under Soviet rule and find Greece's closeness with Russia outrageous. To them, Russia is a constant threat and the West the goal they've always aspired to.
They may have an underlined complex, seeing Greece-a country that allegedly benefited so many years from the West- being so "ungrateful". They are so keen to shake off the image of the communist, poor and backwards region that were themselves. 
As result, they have adopted a hard line pro-Western, liberal and capitalist agenda. If they suffered in order to achieve the transition from communism to capitalism, so must the Greeks. Besides, many of them have contributed to the Greek bail-outs, despite them being poorer than the Greeks.
The reality is quite different. Firstly the bailouts were not given to the Greek people, but the European banking system, in other words they stabilized Western European banks. 
Secondly capitalism is not perfect as a system. It may offer more prosperity than communism, but it also harbors inequality in a society and among the EU member states. How "lucky" was Greece to be a capitalist country in a system that regards it as a "peripheral" economy, aka of secondary importance?
In addition, although many of them are being praised for the achieved reforms and their economies are booming, their citizens are still looking to migrate to Western countries for a better future. The benefits of the efforts to embrace capitalism, have not been equally distributed it seems.
Finally Eastern European states should not be angered by Greece's closeness to Russia, as it is not related remotely to their Soviet experience. Themselves have close links with Germany, Scandinavia or other nations. To Greece, Russia has always been a close trade partner and occasionally an ally.
Besides, it is doubtful that Greece under Syriza will ever plan to conspire against Europe and the West. Its leadership merely uses Russia as a wild card. The aim is clearly to give a message to the rest of its EU partners, that if they continue refusing to compromise, Greece has other allies to turn to.
And Putin obviously values this opportunity, stating that he can still find allies among the EU itself, potentially influencing Europe from within. Additionally, Greece and Russia without the meddling from the rich yet arrogant Western European nations, could strike very profitable deals for either parties.
Greece needs the investments and since Europe refuses them, the country has every right to look elsewhere for them.
To conclude, no one has the right to point the finger to Greece for seeking to better its position and finances. It is clear that European solidarity and unity are far from being achieved and it is the major European powers that prevent this development.

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