Greece

  • Greece Embraces the Center and Continues Course Out of Crisis

    Snap parliamentary elections in Greece on July 7 produced a victory for the political center, bucking a growing trend of populist victories across Europe. The triumph of the center-right New Democracy party and poor showing of extremist parties demonstrates that “Greece is now reinforcing the strength of the center in European politics, rather than fueling a move toward the fringes,” Atlantic Council Executive Vice President Damon Wilson said.


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  • US-Greek Partnership Will Survive New Elections, US Ambassador Says

    Ties between the United States and Greece are not at risk of weakening, regardless of the outcome of snap elections for the Greek parliament in July, Geoffrey Pyatt, the US ambassador to Greece, said at the Atlantic Council on June 11.

    “I am confident that whatever the choice of the Greek people, we are going to continue to make the kind of investment [that strengthened] this relationship and continue to move it forward in a way that reflects both of our interests,” Pyatt said.


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  • European Elections Are a Win, of Sorts, for Greece

    This article is part of a series on the 2019 European Union parliamentary elections.

    In Greece, European parliamentary elections on May 26 are being viewed as a litmus test ahead of national elections later this year. Domestic politics have dominated the debate and the opposition has framed the election as a referendum against the government. The fact that European elections are to be held at the same time as local elections for mayors and regional governors has further obscured European issues.

    At the national level, the campaign has been polarized by high political drama and unrelenting personal attacks. This culminated in a vote of confidence in parliament, which Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras won on May 10. In anticipation of national elections in October 2019, Tsipras’ governing Syriza party is playing its last

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  • North Macedonia and Greece Look Forward to Common NATO Future

    As NATO marks its seventieth year, it is also looking forward to welcoming its thirtieth member: the Republic of North Macedonia.


    The agreement between Greece and the newly-named Republic of North Macedonia, which ended a twenty-seven-year dispute between the two countries, “sends a clear message that we can resolve disputes through dialogue, by good faith… and using history not as a prison but as a school,” Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Katrougalos said on April 3. He said that the success of the two Western Balkans neighbors’ reconciliation can be a “blueprint for the Balkans — the powder keg of Europe in the past — to help resolve the other very difficult disputes that still exist” in the region and around the world.


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  • NATO Membership for Cyprus. Yes, Cyprus.

    Fifteen years ago, NATO welcomed seven new members into the Alliance, expanding its borders eastward from the Baltic to Black Seas. As NATO reaches its seventieth birthday, it could now be time to look toward adding a new member: this time in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    After the end of World War Two, policy makers in London and across the Atlantic worried the Cyprus problem could unravel the entire Eastern Mediterranean. Following independence from the United Kingdom in 1960, tensions on the Mediterranean island flared between the Greek and Turkish communities residing there, inflaming tensions between new NATO allies, Turkey and Greece. There was considerable concern in the West that a deterioration of the situation could leave the door open for the Soviets to gain a foothold in the Mediterranean basin.


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  • North Macedonia Negates NATO Skeptics

    Ahead of last year’s decisions on changing the name and disputed symbols in what was then commonly called Macedonia, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg made clear the stakes. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Stoltenberg warned Skopje. “Either [Macedonians] support the agreement and they can join NATO, or they don’t support the agreement but then they won’t join it. They cannot get both.” Government representatives of North Macedonia working the issue confirmed they had been informed in no uncertain terms it was now or never.

    Although turnout in the non-binding referendum was lower than hoped , the parliament of North Macedonia approved the landmark Prespa Agreement on January 11. From there, compared with the twenty-seven years of diplomatic

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  • Ambassador Morningstar Delivers Second Annual Prometheus Energy Lecture

    Second Annual Prometheus Energy Lecture

    Amb. Richard Morningstar
    Founding Chairman, Global Energy Center, Atlantic Council


    Piraeus, Greece
    March 4, 2019

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  • Greece's Turnaround: From Achilles' Heel to Regional Bedrock

    A little less than four years ago, there was a consensus throughout Europe that Greece was Europe’s biggest headache. Athens had driven itself into economic devastation, the argument went, due to its profligate spending and uncompetitive economy and now threatened to unravel not just the European financial system, but the political unity of the European Union (EU) itself, after the election of far-left winger Alexis Tsipras. Greece became Europe’s Achilles’ heel.

    What a turnaround it has been. Today, Athens has proven to be a problem solver for the transatlantic community, projecting stability and providing leadership on a vulnerable southeastern flank. Tsipras has moved in a short time from being the bad boy of Europe to now being ...
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  • A 'Monumental Day for the Western Balkans'

    On January 25, the Greek parliament approved a deal that will see its neighbor, Macedonia, renamed to the “Republic of North Macedonia”—a move that ends a twenty-seven-year dispute between the two Southeastern European countries.

    The deal—known as the Prespa Agreement—was reached between Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in June 2018. The Macedonian parliament approved the deal on January 11. The agreement paves the way for the newly-minted North Macedonia to join NATO and potentially the European Union.


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  • Greek Parliament Approves Macedonia Name Change Deal

    Greece’s parliament narrowly approved a deal on January 25 that would see its northern neighbor change its name to North Macedonia and Athens lift its opposition to Macedonian accession to NATO and the European Union. The deal passed in a 153-to-146 vote.

    The deal—known as the Prespa Agreement—was reached between Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on June 17, 2018. The Macedonian parliament approved the necessary changes to the constitution on January 11.


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