Greece and New Alliances by George Koulouris

Greece EconomyThe last four years Greece is facing a difficult economic situation owing to the global financial crisis. Greece’s economy has many structural problems which has aggravated the crisis in Greece. After the signature of memorandum Greece has lost its sovereignty and its power has decreased. In the European Union but also in bilateral relations Greece doesn’t take part as an important actor, because there are many problems which have to face.

In this decisive period, it would be necessary for Greece to find new alliances in order to reinforce its geostrategic role and its economic power. These crises in Greece, which take part the last years, maybe constitute the motive to look for new alliances. Greece is situated in an important geostrategic position and new alliances are a vital part for its recovery. Due to the effects from crisis, Greece has lack of confidence among the European countries and is more isolated.

In order to surpass these problems is necessary to search for new alliances. Lately, we have seen the name «BRICS».  BRICS is the name of the five major emerging economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). The BRICS countries are distinguished by their fast-growing economies and its influence on regional and global affairs. It seems reasonable for Greece to open its doors to these countries. According to predictions China in 2050 will be the 1st country in economic power but also India and Japan will increase their power. Consequently, Greece has to look to these countries in order to gain more benefits and to recover from crisis.

Specifically, there are many chances for Greece to cooperate with BRICS. First of all China is a country with friendly relations with Greece. There is a respect between two countries about the ancient’s cultures, so there are close relations. Based on this relation Greece and China can cooperate in bilateral trade. China is a country with a powerful economy and also has almost 1, 5 billion populations. It is about a large market so Greece will gain many benefits from the bilateral economic relations. It’s important for Greece to export its products in this country. Especially agricultural products will be an important way in order to increase its incomes, because of this large market. Also China dispose surplus over 2 trillions dollars in its international economic affairs. For this reason, it would be useful for Greek economy to recover from Chinese investments. There are many ways that China can help Greece to avoid this difficult economic situation. Except for the great cultural history, there is also another similar problem for the two countries as the Cyprus problem for Greece and the Taiwan problem for China. So there is a chance for further cooperation. The sector of tourism, also, constitutes an effective way of cooperation between China and Greece. The Chinese people can visit Greece to spend their holidays; this situation is a support for the Greek economy and image.

Apart from China, Greece has to cooperate with Russia. The common point between Russia and Greece is the religion. There is a close relation between the two countries based on the orthodoxy. Russia is a great power in the international affairs, and after 2000 its economic growth is desirable. So, it will be an important supporter for Greece in this period of recession. The main sector that Russia can help Greece is the exploitation of natural gas and the privatizations. Russia is the largest supplier of natural gas in Europe. This country has the technology for the excavation and will be an effective partner for Greece in this action. These two countries can cooperate in order to exploit together the natural gas. In this way Greece can gain benefits from the natural gas either from the use either from the delivery to Europe. Because Greece has not the technology to do this, Russia will take away this work from Greece. Of course Greece can privatize its property. Russia has the power to help, immediately, the Greek economy. The Greek government has the possibility to privatize Despa, Desfa in order to gain economic benefits. Also there are ports, which can privatize, in the same way as Cosco and Piraeus’ port. Furthermore Greek government could supply facilitations to Russian people in order to increase the tourism to Greece, mainly the tourist visa.

China and Russia is the most powerful countries from the BRICS but there are also countries as India, Brazil and South Africa which have the ability to help Greece. These countries have large markets and large population, both could support Greece in the period of crisis. Greece can export its products to these countries in good prices, it is about large markets, for this reason the gains will be important for the economic recovery. The basic reason is the large market and that these countries in the future will be important actors in the international system. As example could be that Brazil is one of the biggest consumers in aliments products, the demand of these products will increase the next couple years, because the 54% of population will be in the middle class. So, Greece has to focus on this goal to export its agricultural products in this emerging country because there is big need of these.

In this difficult economic period, that the world changes Greece has to search more partners in order to exit stronger from the crisis. There are changes in the world, new countries will play active and important role in the international affairs as BRICS. For this reason, Greece has to make alliances with these countries because their power in the next years will help Greece to recover and to gain economic benefits from the cooperation.

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