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A comment on the current tensions between Greece and Turkey – S.Mavroudeas PRESS TV 11-8-2020

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The News Bulletin of PRESS TV asked for my comments on the current tensions between Greece and Turkey regarding the Exclusive Economic Zones in the Eastern Mediterranean. The video of my comments and their transcript follows. [embedded content] https://urmedium.com/c/presstv/30191 The current tensions are part of the long-running antagonism between the Greek and the Turkish ruling elites. This antagonism goes back to the formation of nation-states in the Balkan and the Eastern Mediterranean area in the 19th and the early 20th centuries. In this antagonism both ruling elites scramble for gains and for regional influence. They both use international law at will; that is each one chose an item of international law of the seas that suits it and disregards others. This antagonism takes

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A comment on the current tensions between Greece and Turkey – S.Mavroudeas PRESS TV 11-8-2020

The News Bulletin of PRESS TV asked for my comments on the current tensions between Greece and Turkey regarding the Exclusive Economic Zones in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The video of my comments and their transcript follows.

https://urmedium.com/c/presstv/30191

The current tensions are part of the long-running antagonism between the Greek and the Turkish ruling elites. This antagonism goes back to the formation of nation-states in the Balkan and the Eastern Mediterranean area in the 19th and the early 20th centuries.

In this antagonism both ruling elites scramble for gains and for regional influence.

They both use international law at will; that is each one chose an item of international law of the seas that suits it and disregards others.

This antagonism takes place under the auspices of the US, EU and NATO who are the ultimate patrons and arbiters. Recently, Greece has become even more subservient to these patrons because of its participation in the EU and the subsequent wreck of its economy during the recent economic crises. On the other hand, Turkey pursues a more independent and aggressive policy by playing not only with the West but also with Russia and other regional powers. As it feels more confident, the Turkish ruling elite expands its areas of operation more aggressively. However, the Greek ruling elite – although in a worse condition – does not fail to reply aggressively wherever it can.

The object of the current tensions is the ownership and the exploitation of potential oil and natural gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean. Thus, both ruling elites try to extend their Exclusive Economic Zones. The irony is that (a) the existence of these reserves (and moreover whether they are economically exploitable) is far from certain and (b) if they exist it is US and Western oil companies that will get the contracts.

This is a miserable reason for throwing the peoples of Greece and Turkey into a bloody war. A famous Turkish poet (Nazim Hikmet) once wrote that they are two Greeces and two Turkeys. The one is that of the ruling elite and it is fake: it serves only the interests of itself and its patrons. The other is that of the people and it is the real one. This real Greece and this real Turkey have no interest whatsoever in a bloody war supervised by the Western patrons.

Stavros Mavroudeas
He is currently Professor of Political Economy at the Department of Social Policy of Panteion University. He was previously Professor of Political Economy at the Department of Economics of the University of Macedonia. He studied at the Economics Department of the National Kapodistriakon University of Athens, from where he received his BA Economics (1985 - First Class Honours).

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