February 18, 2012

Germany has two Balkan policies

A heart rending scene from Greece

Germany has two Balkan policies. It switches from one to the other like a business that follows contradictory policies depending on whether it is trying to cut the costs or expand its market share.
1- Isolationism: Bismarck said "the Balkans are not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier." He also promised that he would not make any objections to Russian occupation of the Turkish straits.
2- Engagement: Kaiser Wilhelm II visited Turkey and emphasised the importance of Germany's friendship. He made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and later pressed Turkey to proclaim the Great Jihad against the zsar.
During the Cold War, West Germany and Turkey were close. After reunification, Turkey got the cold shoulder from Germany. Now it's Greece's turn. Prussia is at peace with Russia so who needs friends in the Balkans?
There are psychological objections, too. Greece is a symbol of avariciousness and parasitism in Germany now. The EU cohesion funds and the CAP were mostly financed by Germany. Even the cheap borrowing that brought Greece here is a result of abused German largesse. The FT has an editorial on the effects of mistrust.
Malignant mistrust threatens to be the death of Greece
"Put more trust in nobility of character than in an oath"
Solon, ancient Greek lawmaker

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