McNamara: US, European allies must put pressure on Greece December 25, 2010Posted by Yilan in America, Macedonia, US.
Tags: Greece, Macedonia, McNamara, U.S
It is obvious that Greece is the obstacle in the Macedonia issue. Athens does not observe its earlier promise it would not block the country’s efforts to join NATO. Furthermore, the Americans and the Europeans are not putting sufficient pressure on Greece to solve this problem. Therefore, the guilt for the lack of a solution to the problem can be directed to a number of sides, says Sally McNamara, senior policy analyst at the Washington-based “Heritage Foundation”, in an interview with Macedonian Television.
“It is difficult to understand why Europeans support Greece. The Greeks have violated the rules, they also violated the Eurozone rules. This is a country that was on the verge of bankruptcy, but received enormous aid from its European partners. Therefore, one cannot understand why Europeans did not use this as cover to explain to Greece that they should change their conduct. However, it is obvious they are not prepared to do this”, says McNamara.
According to her, negative consequences are possible from the infinite delay of Macedonia’s NATO and EU accession.
“Macedonia is a good ally and takes part in peacekeeping missions, but is also a good regional player. There are negative implications if the country remains outside of NATO. Macedonia can say – if you do not want to, then we will not join the Alliance, we will turn to other alliances. People can become disillusioned and the region can be destabilized. There is really no positive side to this other than Greek authorities getting points among its electorate. Greece is doing this for internal reasons and it should not be supported”, stresses the Heritage analyst.
Pertaining to the possibility of more active US involvement in the row’s settlement, McNamara says that unlike former President Bush, who invested a lot in Macedonia and its NATO integration, the incumbent Obama administration does not seem quite interested, although it can put pressure.
“Democrats are not interested in the Balkans. Obama’s administration is currently not much interested in the Alliance’s enlargement at the Balkans. It is also interesting how little is Secretary of State Clinton involved in the problem. She is saying how big of a friend she is to Macedonia, has visited the country twice, showing support in her speeches, but it would be good if we see more efforts on her part”, states McNamara.
She believes it is possible to stop Greek blocks and blackmails if all European countries, United States, Canada and all NATO member-states join together and tell Greece that is has to stop and commit to the UN process for the issue’s settlement.
“Diplomatic pressure must be put on Greece. If Macedonia joins NATO, the name row will be settled in a much easier way. That is why I think Greece is counterproductive in the issue”, underlines Heritage analyst Sally McNamara.