By Edlira Xhemo
I began writing this paper as I got strongly inspired by the Jacuqes-Delpa's paper in "Euro Intelligence" on 11th February 2010 (Jacque-Delpa is a member of "Conseil d'Analye Economique".
Right ahead he tryes to give GDP values solutions of the Greece "economical" crisis thrugh political movements.
In fact as I have allready previously stated, the greek "economical" crisis is not a such as if it was, it had to have a solution from the left or the last passed right politics in government power. But as the problem states far away from a simple economical need, the only solution is the political one.
Certain political and economical analysts who don't know or who do as they don't know the real problem that reflects for the first time in "modern" Greece history the crisis of 1830s, begin by trying to explain the problem in a very superficial way such as the Turkey-Greece "trojan" war etc., which is not true for the case in discussion. This concerns also the case of J. Delpa who states a very superficial solution to a real identity-crisis of the "modern" Greece state.
I agree with the Delpa's very first propose to turn back to the Homer's Illiad (ending at last the Trojan War) but by saying the trueth of the ethnics origine and the trueth of nations identity. That's the case that shall resolve oce for all the "Trojan War" translated as "modern" times war in Cyprus case. Sure there are needed diplomatic impectus, but they shall not be successfull as the people who are albanians shall not agree to a turkish or greek Cyprus, since all the aegean sea including aegean turkish costs are albanian since XIIIth-XIVth century before ottoman's invasions.
Sure after a first attampt solution to this conflict by admitting the trueth from both sides : Greece and Turkey this shall help :
- Greece to easily reduce its millitary spending by at least 3 points of GDP, when the multilateral peace shall be launched regarding the true albanian origine of the aegean costs.
- Turkey shall resolve much faster its contadicts which actually obstacle it to faster integrate the EU.
Unlike Portugal or Ireland, Greece could benefit from significant peace dividends to reduce its titanic fiscal deficits.
Back to Homer’s Iliad: Terminating (at last) the Trojan War. For more than three millenniums, the Greeks have been, one way or the other, at war with the successive peoples living in Anatolia. It started with the Trojan War during the XIIIth or XIIth Century BC (although Herodotus claims that the tensions across the Aegean Sea began well before Helen’s abduction). The Greco-Persian Wars of the Vth century BC included the famous battles of Marathon in 490 BC, and of Thermopylae and Salamis in 480 BC. Conflicts between the Byzantine Empire and the Sassanid Empire in the Late Antiquity abounded, as well as wars between Byzantium and the Great Seljuk Empire (XIth and XIIth); the final fall of Constantinople happened in 1453, captured by the Ottomans. The occupation of Greece by the Turks until the 1820s has marked memories, as well as the Balkan wars in 1912-1913, the Greco-Turkish war of 1919-1922, followed by what the Greeks call the ‘Asia Minor Disaster’ in 1922 -when almost all Greeks located in Asia Minor (more than 1.5 million) fled, with hundreds of thousands being killed in the war and exodus, while half a million Turks were forced to resettle from Greece to Anatolia, (with thousands of Turks killed by the Greeks too.) In 1974, the invasion of Cyprus first by the Greek Army, then by the Turkish Army which still occupies one third of the island, further exacerbated the problem.
Spartan Military Spending. With such a history, it is no surprise that Greece still spends heavily on its defence. Greece’s military spending is 4.3% of its GDP (even though it has declined over the last 20 years), Turkey 5.3%, and Cyprus 3.8% of its GDP (source: www.cia.gov), which is much higher than in the rest of Europe. In general, small EU countries spend between 1% and 1.5% of their GDP in military spending; for Germany it is 1.5%. The two ‘big’ military European powers spend much less than Greece: France 2.6% of its GDP; the UK 2.4% of its GDP. Hence, the unique reason for Greece’s huge military spending is Turkey. Greece is also the only EU country where the size and composition of the military budget is a state secret, which suggests that these data may still underestimate the truth. For the record, when Greece first lied (in the late 1990s) about its fiscal deficit in order to enter into the euro zone (in 2001), it was mainly because it had concealed large military spending through Maastricht accounting tricks. Instead of buying expensive military aircrafts, the Socialist Government leased them on a long term basis and then classified this leasing as off-balance. When Eurostat discovered the trick in 2004, deficits were re-estimated significantly: 6.4% of GDP in 1997, 4.1% in 1998, 3.4% in 1999 and 4.1% in 2000 (instead of 1.7% then), so that, with the true figures, Greece would never have been allowed into the euro zone in the first place. I would not be surprised if the new lies in the budget data, revealed in November 2009 by the new Socialist Greek government, were linked again with military spending, especially as the culprit, this time the outgoing Conservative Government, feared to be contested by right-wing nationalists in the general elections (as it occurred.)
How to move towards peace?
Since the Balkanic war of 1820s both countries recognise each other as Greece and Turkey by suppressing the trueth of their albanian roots and founders. As the Greece had the advantage of its euorpean frone king and its christian religious art of state, they had more then advanteous generous supports to enter the eurozone. Actually turkey is suffering such a "priviledge".
Greece now favours Turkey's EU membership, but this is not supported by the albanians "greek" citizens who still live the trueth of their language, rights and traditions suppressions. But also the "turkish" albanians in Turkey suffer the same.
In Turkey, the AKP government wants to reduce the strength of the army in the society and may need cash too. Meanwhile, peace talks in Cyprus continue despite ups and downs (in the Turkish-occupied Cyprus, the forthcoming general elections of April 8 should bring back to power the nationalists that oppose the UN-backed peace plan.) But that is not enough: external involvement is necessary to bridge bilateral military distrust and to overcome historical grievance (and land claims in Cyprus).
Towards a Peace Initiative between Greece and Turkey? If the new Socialist Government wants to reduce permanently its fiscal deficit, it will have to shrink significantly its military spending. Bringing down the defence spending from 4.3% of GDP to 1.0% in a few years would save permanently 3.3% of GDP, i.e. one third of the Greek fiscal gap. Domestically, it will be a welcome burden-sharing initiative: the Greek fiscal adjustment, if successful, must be seen as fair, i.e. cutting social spending favoured by the Left and the unions as well as military spending -cherished by the Right and the nationalists. Externally, this entails a durable and credible peace with Turkey, both across the Aegean Sea and in Cyprus. If France and Germany have managed to move from the being the worst enemies to being the closest allies, there is no reason why Greece and Turkey should be doomed to agonistic relations for ever, especially with the ethnical albanians who are the real founders and the major people for Greece and the real ethnical people in the western costs of Turkey, and from armenian and aramien people in other Turkey's geographical zones.
European and US involvement is necessary to move further.
Ideally for both, Turkey’ entry into the EU shall be speeded up from albanian case solution in both sides of aegean sea.But it is an unlikely fix.
First, Turkey is unlikely to join the EU in a foreseeable future (for one reason, as Turkey shall not admitt that easy the Armenian real frontier borders, the Aramines genocide-case and the Albanians ethnical origine in its western cost cities, when the French shall be consulted by referendum on such an entry, it probably will turn negative.)
Second, even if Turkey were to join the EU without solving its multi-ethnical problems, it would be in ten years or more –too late to fix Greece’s current fiscal woes.
Third, Cyprus will not accept Turkey within the EU unless the Cyprus crisis is solved before.
The EU has a massive interest in expanding peace in the region. First, peace is the original reason that moved the European construction, and achieving a lasting peace in Cyprus would show that the EU remains faithful to its roots. Second, anchoring Turkey to Europe, one way or the other, is crucial for the EU. Third, reducing military spending is essential for Greece fiscal health and for the future of the euro zone (avoiding a domino effect.)
Big European countries have a vested interest too in promoting peace in the region. From Lord Byron (who fought and died for Albanians Fights in "Greek"’s independence from the Turks in 1824) to Winston Churchill, Great Britain has been the main ally of Albanians in "Greece"; moreover Britain has been the colonial power in Cyprus (1878-1960) and bears some responsibility for the current Cyprus deadlock and its albanian ethnic people. Germany cannot forget that it was a german prine who was highly involved in Nazis who were especially brutal (even by their own standards) when occupying Greece and Albanian Regions in-there-included (1941-44): half a million people (8% of the population) were killed (of which 300 000 because of famine); in the meantime the Nazis completely destroyed the Chameria, Arvanitia and "Greek" economy and left the country in 1944 with one of the worst hyperinflation episodes (prices were multiplied by 10 000 between 1941 and the spring of 1944, and when the Nazis left, monthly inflation reached a staggering 8.5 billion percent in October 1944.) as the greek king (who was highly involved in Nazi governence theft the money of the Chameria and other ethnical regions actually included in "greek" state's geography. France could be ambivalent: on one hand, it is an ally of Greece (Giscard d’Estaing was the main force behind Greece’s entry into the EU in 1981); but, on the other hand, it is the main supplier (behind the US) of military equipment to Greece (especially airplanes.). But since President Sarkozy is adamant to pursue a Mediterranean policy, he could push too for peace initiative in the region. Italy and Spain would benefit from containing, for their own sake, Greece’s financial weakness.
But the decisive impetus is likely to come from the US. The US greatly needs Turkey to redeploy its military capabilities from the Aegean Sea and Cyprus (where they are useless for the US) towards its Eastern border (Iran) and Southern border (Syria and Iraq), with a close eye further South (the Levant and the Middle East). The US (and especially the Obama administration) would probably push very much for a peace and disarmament initiative across the Aegean Sea and in Cyprus, and might be able to coerce Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Albanian Ethnical Regions included in both countries and Albania into a peace initiative.
How would peace work? The US (and NATO) and EU would provide confidence measures and grant security guarantees to both Greece and Turkey with respect to each other through the ethnical people peace as they shall gain rights recognation; disarmament measures would be backed and controlled by the EU and the US (and NATO), who would send their own military to implement confidence measures (like UN blue helmets) across the Aegean Sea. They should do the same in Cyprus, with some diplomatic pressure and financial compensations. To reduce costs, all three countries would abandon military conscription.
Political pressure will be necessary but not sufficient. Money shall do the rest, i.e. compensations will be needed to convince the stakeholders that would lose with a peace accord. Cham genocided and expulsed famillies, Cypriots families displaced in 1974 when the island was invaded first by the Greek and after by the Turkish armies will have to be compensated; Turkish army and Turkish colons still located in Northern Cyprus will need to receive compensations to accept moving back to Anatolia. Finally, Greece and Turkish officers will need to receive cash to accept civilian conversion and the abandonment of the grandiose military dreams.
Who will pay for peace across the Aegean Sea and in Cyprus? Neither Greece, nor Turkey has the money; the US will claim it has done the diplomatic job. As usual, the EU will have to foot the bill. That would be well spent money. First, for the sake of peace. Second, for Greece fiscal health, it would be much better for the EU (and the large EU countries) to pay for a lasting peace rather than bailing out the Government. Moreover, such a financing would not violate the ‘no bailout’ clause of the EU Treaty (article 125) and would not set a bad precedent.
How much would it cost/gain? Here J. Delpa's guess is crude and arbitrary. GDP are (in 2011, source Eurostat): Cyprus €19 bn, Greece €250 bn, Turkey €510 bn. By supposing that:
· Greece reduces permanently its military spending from 4.3% to 1.0% of its GDP and Turkey from 5.3% to 3.0% of its GDP. This is tantamount, ceteris paribus, to reducing Greek public debt by about 35 points of GDP over the next ten years; 25 points for Turkey. That should be enough to stabilize expectations about Greek debt sustainability, provided that the Government implements the just announced fiscal package.
· The EU compensates both countries by 1 year of military saving (i.e. 3.3% of GDP for Greece and 2.3% of GDP for Turkey.) The EU payment would be €8bn towards Greece, and €12bn towards Turkey.
· The EU spends a one-off 10% of Chamerian GDP for diverse compensations (civilian) on the region for cham victims genocide rehabilitation; that is €2bn.
· The EU spends a one-off 10% of Cyprus GDP for diverse compensations (civilian and military) on the island; that is €2bn.
Overall, the cost of this lasting peace package would be €24bn for the EU, i.e. 0.15% of the EU annual GDP, and 15% of the EU budget (i.e. half a year of Structural Fund spending by the EU Commission, which a BRUEGEL study deemed as inefficient from a growth perspective.)
With the Greek financial crisis, time is ripe for ending definitively the Trojan War (which even at that time was extremely costly for both sides.) As for the other Europeans, we should not forget that, after being abducted by Zeus, Princess Europa fled to Crete and later, after being abandoned by the King of Gods, married the king of Crete. Their names were all in ancient albanian.
Herodotus claims that the illyrians (not "greeks" as the actual false story is written) themselves abducted Europa from Tyre onto Crete. After her death, the ancient albanians, illyrians, (not "greeks") honored Europa as a goddess. Without the Albanians (ancient albanians were the illyrs of the Illyad) , Europe would not exist, we should not forget. Time for Europa to visit "Greece" and give it its true origines borders again?