Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

During the World Economic Forum in Davos, I interviewed Greece’s Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who returned to power in 2023 with a strong win. He is a center-right politician with progressive social values, and Greece has seen a surprising economic recovery under his leadership. The country, once considered the “sick man of Europe,” has experienced significant growth in recent years and has reduced its debt load, which was the cause of a crisis over a decade ago. Greece is a member of NATO and is involved in the Russian war in Ukraine, as well as having interests in the Middle East through its large shipping industry, which is currently facing challenges in the Red Sea. Mitsotakis and I discussed these topics in our live discussion, which subscribers can watch in full on the video box above. The following is a condensed and edited transcript of the interview. As Greece has a significant shipping industry, the recent attack on a Greek ship by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea is a cause for concern. This disruption could impact international trade and the global effort to decrease inflation, so Greece is closely monitoring the situation. As for the Middle Eastern crisis, Greece has taken a measured stance, initially supporting Israel’s right to self-defense while acknowledging the plight of innocent people in the Gaza Strip. Mitsotakis emphasized the importance of a political solution and hopes for Europe to play a more active role in the future. Greece has a strong strategic partnership with Israel, with significant Israeli investment in the country. The shift in Greece’s orientation began in the 1990s, moving away from a more pro-Palestinian position towards a balanced and stable stance in the region. When discussing the war in Ukraine, Mitsotakis expressed Greece’s unequivocal support for the country, despite historical ties with Russia. He stressed the importance of standing against challenges to the international order and Europe’s unity on this issue. Greece is committed to providing both diplomatic and military support to Ukraine. Despite the resilience of the Russian economy in the face of sanctions, Mitsotakis believes that Russia is paying a heavy price and that the sanctions are necessary. However, he expressed concern that the narrative of what is right or wrong does not resonate as much with certain parts of the world, especially in the global south. He attributed this in part to historical legacies and colonial pasts in many countries. In conclusion, Greece is navigating complex geopolitical challenges while promoting stability, unity, and support for its allies.

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