There are many of us who believe that in international affairs, the politics of our country must be analyzed in terms of structural and wider historical circles. The same is true now, in relation to Greek-Turkish relations. However, the above should not obscure the role played by individuals. Especially in times of crisis, the leaders are called upon to play a disproportionately large role, perhaps even in terms of what they themselves expected.
Even within a given context, the abilities and perception of any person at the critical moment prove to be catalytic. Unfortunately, Kyriakos Mitsotakis is both ideologically oriented to "submissiveness" and on a personal level of very reduced abilities, in relation to the challenge, he is called upon to manage in Greek-Turkish relations.
The "17-hour negotiation" and the fire in Mati were the moments of stripping, apart from the then government, and of Alexis Tsipras himself from any view of his leadership skills. For Kyriakos Mitsotakis and unfortunately for our country, in this moment of nakedness, a Greek-Turkish confrontation is evolving. He had dedicated a paragraph to his program statements, showing that he did not realize the importance of these issues for every Greek prime minister.
In his first meeting with Erdogan, he had appeared completely unprepared. By obeying Germany and the United States, he not only maintained former foreign minister Kotzia's disastrous policy in Greek-Russian relations but also tragically delayed the defense agreement with France. He turned to justifying Soleimani's murder and hanging out (along with his wife) with Latin American failed coup plotters. In addition, he was completely surprised by the Ankara-Tripoli memorandum.
Awkward and embarrassed
In July, when it was now clear that Turkey was fully expressing its aggression against Greece, it drew a red line, the non-conduct of research on the Greek continental shelf. He canceled it a month later! He was weighed by Erdogan in terms of what he can do on the battlefield and lost without a shot being fired! Turkey shows that it no longer respects the Greek Prime Minister.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who was dragged into an unprecedented separation of Greece from Cyprus and "swallowed" the lifting of the prospect of EU sanctions on Turkey, which would have been "duds" anyway, with a German promise to start negotiations. He reduced de-escalation - instead of defending rights and sovereignty - to a major goal.
And now, when Turkey treats him personally with affront, making attempts at a fait accompli on the potential Greek EEZ, even on the potential territorial waters, he stands embarrassed, helpless, clueless, and fatal! Phone calls, summits, meetings with foreign ministers are basically beyond the issue: none of this will stop Oruc Reis and what its voyage clearly signifies.
Mitsotakis is just waiting
He refuses to convene a council of political leaders. He refuses to convene the council on defense and foreign policy KYSEA. He refuses to delineate an EEZ with Cyprus. He refuses to extend territorial waters to 12 nautical miles. He refuses to draw national red lines. He refuses to responsibly prepare the people for the possibility of a war. He refuses to build new alliances and revive older ones. He refuses, diplomatically and militarily, to act preemptively, blocking the plans of an aggressive Turkey.
He is just waiting and hoping for another US president to be elected. What if Donald Trump is re-elected? What if we do not have the necessary time until then? What if the internal crisis in the US intensifies? What if Germany continues to be Germany? We do not know if Kyriakos Mitsotakis has the perceptual and mental reserves to manage such a crisis.
But in any case, it is clear that he can not manage major national interests to his advantage. Political developments must occur in order for the country to receive the necessary defense. It may sound premature to some, or unpleasant to others, but Kyriakos Mitsotakis seems inferior to the demands in the midst of a national crisis.
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