For a moment, let’s stroll through media coverage of the Greek economic crisis. This would be the same crisis that’s been going on for years now. The same crisis that everyone knows requires Greece to abolish it’s quasi-socialist ponzi scheme of benefits, but that everyone deliberately ignores and instead suggests a bailout of the Greek quasi-socialist ponzi scheme of benefits as the way out for Plato’s homeland. All that taken in, the
narrative unfolding is one of Greece on bended knee before Europe begging for fiscal liberation.
Problem is, Greeks don’t beg. Trust me on this. I’ve spent a lot of time in Greece. There’s a pride thing going on among Greeks. They don’t like to beg.
And there is another party Greece is talking to that no one is saying much about. He goes by the name Vladimir Putin. Chances are, he’s willing to offer Greece some assistance. Maybe even a safe haven of sorts if they are evicted from the EU. Yet no one is discussing this.
Putin has solid reasons for pursuing Greece. Although Greece is a NATO member, it’s historically not been one too keen on hosting an evident American presence within its borders. Sure, there are US bases in Greece – in far flung locations like the island of Crete. Greek politics are a twisted blend of socialism and nationalism, though, and are part of the reason why, at one point during the 1990s, the US military was unable to use the port at Thessaloniki despite usage being for NATO purposes. If Putin can influence Greece, then he has an in road towards splintering NATO when it comes to his expansionist agenda. This is especially important considering Romania and Bulgaria’s positions within the alliance.
It goes beyond NATO. Russia operates a fairly large maritime presence in the Mediterranean. Historically, they’ve used a Syrian port as their chosen location to replenish their ships. With Syria going to hell in a handbasket, Greece would make a nice alternative for the Russian Navy.
Not to mention the cultural ties. The EU can pretend all day long that it represents a singular, homogenous Europe. It doesn’t. Unlike America, in Europe people define themselves along deeply hyphenated lines. Those lines extend beyond race and into faith and regionality. Greece has long been a part of the Eastern Christian Orthodox tradition that ties in well with Putin’s Russia. Athens has more in common with Moscow in that regard than they do with London or Paris.
Geographically, Greece is perfect for Russia. It’s positioned in southern Europe. It has access to the sea. And it’s due south of what used to be the Eastern Bloc.
Greece needs a sugar daddy to help restore its fiscal house. Putin needs an improved strategic foothold in Europe if he wants to expand Russian influence diplomatically and militarily. Watch what happens. Five years from now, Greece may be today’s Crimea without a shot having been fired.