Mr. Avramopoulos of course is late by some twenty years plus in “meaning” that Turkish intelligence has established a dangerous presence in Thrace.
Turkey’s Thracian objectives are well known but rarely quoted, if ever, by Greek politicians: by using the Muslim minority inhabiting the region, Ankara seeks to wedge itself into Greece’s eastermost province as part of strategic plan that could not be realized in earlier times. But in the age of “human rights” military interventions, complete with bombing independent countries in peacetime, Turkey correctly perceives possibilities of “Kosovo-ising” eastern Thrace and creating a fait accompli that will sever a good slice of Greek territory to the benefit of our neighboring Neo-Ottomans.
To paraphrase an old adage, diplomacy is too serious a business to be left to politicians. The conduct of Greek diplomacy has suffered disproportionately over the years from lack of clear objectives, often unexplained timidity, and shaky and empty responses to crises. Any criticism of this “policy” is met with the boilerplate responses of the critics “not understanding the seriousness of diplomatic maneuvering” and the repetition of empty mantras like “Greece does not claim anything from anybody” in response to the constant stream of Turkish provocations and thinly-veiled demands for a radical “rearrangement” in the Aegean not necessarily to Greece’s benefit.
The European-induced crisis currently consuming the country, with Greek “elites” finding no other way but to subserviently obey the demands of the lenders, has compounded the perennial malaise of Greek foreign and security policy. Recognizing publicly that “para-state organizations” are operating in Thrace is a long delayed recognition of an obvious fact, which though will have no impact whatsoever without immediate decisions on how to handle the menace -- like seeing that Turkish “diplomats” in the region are denied their absolute freedom to subvert and undermine Greek sovereignty and that the Turkish consulate in Comotini is strictly limited to its legally established activities. Such responses of course require determination and a strong sense of self-assurance which are currently completely lacking from the Greek Government.
The above circumstances make a moot point out of any discussion of “developing” Thrace and attracting foreign investment to the region. Even rudimentary risk analyses do not fail to include the “meaning” delivered by Mr. Avramopoulos to the Greek parliament -- and in so doing highlight the fact that the Greek Government exercises only halting authority over Thrace. This is one step short of openly labeling Greece’s eastern provinces as disputed areas, an estimate that will play nicely straight into Turkey’s hands.