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Pehe: Greexit might have serious geopolitical impact

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Prague, July 8 (CTK) – The “kicking” of Greece out of the euro zone, for which some European politicians including Czech Finance Minister Andrej Babis are calling, could unleash a chain political reaction, Jiri Pehe writes in daily Pravo Wednesday.

He writes that the current accountant’s attitude to the future of Greece in the euro zone surprisingly strongly ignores strategic connections.

Greece is not only a member of the euro zone and the EU, but also an important member of NATO and the Souda Bay base close to Crete is a strategic location of the U.S. naval forces, Pehe writes.

A NATO missile base, established in 1967 already, is situated to the north of Souda Bay. It is regularly used for missile testing mainly by Greece, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States, Pehe writes.

He writes that Greece’s important role within the NATO architecture is undoubtedly one of the reasons why U.S. President Barack Obama has repeatedly called on European politicians to quickly resolve the crisis in a way that would keep Greece in the euro zone.

U.S. politicians realise that if Greece with its leftist government is left in the lurch, the Greek “leaving” might not stop at the euro zone, Pehe writes.

Alexis Tsipras’s government is not happy about Greece’s NATO membership, if for nothing but ideological reasons and some European media has speculated about Syriza’s secret plan of Greece’s departure from NATO, Pehe writes.

If it existed, the plan could hardly be carried out if Greece remained in the euro zone and the EU, Pehe writes.

On the other hand, the departure could serve as a pretext for a number of retaliatory measures that would not have to necessarily mean the country’s withdrawal from NATO, but the closure of the Souda Bay base and other installations that Greece shares with the NATO member countries, Pehe writes.

Greece’s NATO membership is also a stabilising factor in the long-time tense relations with Turkey. Some political scientists see the two countries’ NATO membership the main cause of that the military conflicts between them have ceased and of that the clash between the Greek majority and Turkish minority on Cyprus has eventually been somehow smoothed, Pehe writes.

All this just as a possible Greek “slipping” to the Russian sphere of influence is at stake now, Pehe writes.

He writes that those who can see beyond the doors of their financial institutions warn of that the EU’s inability to deal with the problem of Greece, which is unpleasant, but globally still relatively small, can have far-reaching security and geopolitical impacts.

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