Greece and Turkey have met and begun the process of building ties between their two countries. Let me tell you a bit about this situation since my father was living and working in Boursa Turkey.
Athens and Greece have been enemies for a very long time. This dates back 400 years or more, back to the Ottoman empire and beyond. The Ottoman empire was a Turkish empire. This hate of each other has caused many problems including Cyprus and the ownership of a few islands in the black sea.
But when Greece and Turkey met to thaw their relationship I said, wow, now that is impressive. Greece per capita has one of the highest military budgets in Europe, likewise with Turkey. This military budget is defend their countries against their enemy, whether it be Greece or Turkey.
Now things are changing and it is interesting how this change is coming. Will it work? I say it will because both Erdogan, and Papandreou have a vested interest. Erdogan is a Muslim fundamentalist, but he is also a realist. He knows Turkish people cannot live on words alone. He knows that for his party and his country to succeed they must attract trade. Think of Erdogan as a sort of leader like those in Dubai. Thus his main roadblock is Greece! And if Turkey needs to help Greece so be it! After all the turkish leader did come with an entourage of 300 business people. Think about that for the moment. 300 Turkish business people want in on trade with Greece. That says it all.
Papandreou on the other hand wants to rebuild Greece and he wants to save his country. He is willing to battle the unions (remember he is a left sided politician), willing to battle the nationalists (those who would never talk to Turkey) to save his country. He is the sort of politician that you don’t meet very often. One that truly wants to save his country.
With these two politicians you have the possibility of two countries building deeper trade ties, and probably with Turkey doing most of the heavy lifting. I actually think it will be Turkey that will “bail out” Greece, and not the EU.
Why would Turkey do this? Trade!
First consider the location of Turkey.
Turkey is in the lower right. Let’s say that Turkey and Greece do indeed open trade routes it means that the EU can easily do trade with Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Iraq. Of course you might say, “but hey can’t they do that already?” Well not really. Turkey is a pivot stone between East and West. Greece was blocking that pivot stone. But now with trade ties being established that pivot stone will become the grease for east west trade.
Take it from the perspective of the EU and Greece. All of those countries with several hundred million people will now be open trade. The EU can build/expand pipelines of gas and oil thus reducing their dependence on Russia. The EU can in turn sell their products to the East using Turkey as their middle entity.
Thus I think you can understand why Turkey will end up bailing out Greece and not the EU. If you want to get a further understanding of what I am thinking about listen to the following video. Skip ahead to around 10 minutes for the part that relates to my thinking.
In the end this is very very good news! And it means finally Greece has a way to grow its economy! Who would have thought that at the end it will come to Turkey bailing out the EU with the needed growth???