EU mobilizes around Greece as Erdogan waves sabers for military aggression by Turkey | Politics | New

Experts fear that Russia’s attack on Ukraine shows that war in Europe is once again possible. As tensions between Turkey and Greece rise, the EU must now reduce its dependence on Erdogan, a German economist has warned.

In recent weeks, German government officials have visited Greece in what appears to be an act of support for the nation.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited Thessaloniki in June, while Finance Minister Christian Lindner visited Athens soon after – marking the first visit by a German finance minister to the country in eight year.

More recently, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock visited Greece and Turkey after Turkish planes were spotted flying low over the Greek island in defiance of Greek airspace.

Baerbock sent clear signals during his visit condemning Turkey’s threatening military gestures and praising Greece’s willingness to engage in dialogue.

Alexander S. Kritikos, German Economist and Board Member of DIW Berlin, said: “These visits highlight Greece’s new strategic importance within the EU.

“Greece is becoming an increasingly important outpost for the protection of the EU’s external border.

“What was once considered a matter of civil protection is increasingly turning into a military threat given Turkey’s increasingly aggressive tone and the provocations of its ruling President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.”

Mr Kritikos said much of the Greek population views President Erdogan as similar to Russian leader Vladimir Putin as fears of a military attack by Turkey grow in Europe.

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Erdogan recently warned Athens in a televised speech to stop sending armed forces to islands with non-military status and to respect international agreements.

Experts fear the comments could fuel renewed long-running tensions between the neighbours.

The Turkish President said: “I warn Greece to avoid dreams, deeds and statements that will bring regret. Come to your senses.”

The warning appears to be a further escalation of tensions between NATO allies who have a history of disputes over a range of issues such as mineral exploration in the eastern Mediterranean and rival claims in the Aegean.

Germany, which has so far acted as a neutral mediator, likely due to its close economic ties with Turkey, has shown support for Athens.

The German finance minister also said recently that it was time to open a “new chapter” in its relationship with Greece, which had deteriorated considerably due to the Greek economic crisis.

Mr. Kritikos said Germany had recently increased its investment in Greece, including in its renewable energy and IT sector.

He added: “Greece could currently become a new hub for energy distribution, especially with regard to the supply of electricity and gas in the region, where electricity will soon arrive via an undersea cable. and LNG gas from Egypt and Israel”.

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