Today PM Tsipras is holding meetings with President Putin and entrepreneurs in Moscow over a wide range of political, economic, and trade issues. The long-awaited trip arrived and European and international media are “advising” PM Tsipras not to be break EU front against Russia.
Many policy-makers insist that PM Tsipras will seek for financial assistance to counterbalance liquidity constraints from Eurozone creditors and the IMF. Others that he cannot or will not jeopardize Greece’s position in the EU for just achieving closer ties with President Putin. There is also a group of analysts underlining that this meeting might also put in peril Greece’s relations with Washington. All views are interesting, but none of them reflect the reality.
The reality is that growth and development in Eurozone have been long forgotten or abandoned as an efficient policy to address recession. The negotiation team of Syriza has first and above all proposed a growth clause so that Greece can pay back its loans according to the economic performance and growth rate. From the very first meetings Eurogroup has decided to reject such a proposal for the simple reason that this would unlock pressure from the Greek economy and would let the government move on with its own financial and policy plan without the intervention of the institutions. After more than two months of tough negotiations, Greece is once again bringing this proposal into the table considering it (again) as realistic and beneficial for all parts involved, i.e. Greece and the creditors. This time growth clause is expected to be endorsed by a handful of member-states, but the fact is that Germany remains reluctant.
To bring about growth-led policies, Greece needs strong economic ties with regional powers. Energy partnerships and trade agreements cannot come from the European Union as it stands nowadays. Therefore Greece is focusing its efforts on building strong ties with Russia, China, India, the United States, and every other regional and global power that is willing to build on long-lasting and mutually beneficial agreements with Greece. Such partnerships and cooperation also include tourism investments, Greece’s major and profitable industries.
It is so strikingly evident these seven years of austerity that the primary goal of major and influencing leaders and powers in EU and Eurozone was to keep Greece in such a desperate and appalling economic and social condition. These seven years Greece became 30% poorer in financial terms, while putting real economy and the society into a vicious circle of debt, extreme poverty and unemployment. No reform policies were implemented in Greece despite two huge and unnecessary bailout packages. No growth policies were designed, no consolidation of fiscal and tax policy was achieved. No short or mid-term planning.
Greece is a modern colony of debt, a unique debtocracy, a puppet of Eurozone. As hard as it might look like for all those leaving outside Greece, but keep criticizing and dictating what the government will do, it is incomparably hard and courageous for the vast majority of the Greek people to survive under such economic circumstances for more.
The Greek economy cannot thrive or even be put into a certain path of gradual development, unless the government tries to diversify possible sources of income and investment. And this diversification certainly includes the unlocking of Greece’s geopolitical advantages. As simple as that my fellow Europeans.
So, calm down EU, Greece won’t shake your myopic approach over Russia.
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Twitter: @rapidisDimitris Rapidis