A few days ago, French President Emmanuel Macron threatened to postpone a planned meeting of the French and German governments. The reason was his concerns over a lack of progress in areas of supposed cooperation such as energy and defense, and defense cooperation in the Turkey-Greece issue.
As France doesn’t want to get involved in the Greece-Turkey crisis as tensions between the nations had started to re-escalate. But, Olaf has already made it plain that he won’t think twice before joining hands with Turkey.
In 2020, Germany snubbed Greece and inked several submarine deals including with Turkey. This was all a part of a broader effort in extending military cooperation as a part of the NATO alliance.
At that time, Athens urged Berlin to cancel the deal as it could give Turkey an unwanted advantage against Greece. But, Berlin notoriously avoided such requests, which became a major reason behind the freezing of diplomacy between the two member states of the European Union. But now, it looks like Germany and Greece are going to share the stage again, and that too without Turkey in their mind.
Greece ‘resets’ relations!
According to a media report by Euractiv, Scholz’s visit would start a “dynamic reset” of German relations with Greece. To put things in perspective, Scholz’s trip to Athens is not simultaneous with a trip to Ankara, which is customary for all German government officials to maintain a balance between both Athens and Ankara.
Additionally, Olaf Scholz has also turned over a new leaf for Greek Authorities. Olaf Scholz criticized Ankara while extending support for Athens—possibly for the first time in years.
According to another report by Politico, Olaf Scholz has warned Ankara to stop threats against Greece in a dispute over islands in the eastern Mediterranean, calling on both sides to solve their differences through international law. The German Chancellor even suggested, if necessary, Germany would serve as a “helpful” mediator in the standoff.
Furthermore, Germany delivered Greece the first batch of infantry fighting vehicles known as ‘Marder’ as part of a swap deal in return for which Greece was poised to deliver 40 Soviet-designed tanks to Ukraine. All in all, this is undoubtedly a U-turn from what Berlin had been doing with Ankara.
Read More: France cuts Germany to size
Ankara had been on cloud nine because it had the EU’s top wheel, i.e. Germany, on its side. However, the friendly mood was ruined when Macron extended support to Greece by signing defense deals in a bid to strengthen the Hellenic nation, last year. France supports Greece against Turkey and hence, last week, France had turned down a meeting with Olaf Scholz because it had a bee in its bonnet that Berlin might re-route its defense equipment to Ankara which would get used against Greece. Now, the prospects of the meeting are hanging in predicament.
Though, after a few days, Olaf Scholz and Macron actually met. The German chancellor and the French president discussed their joint concerns during nearly three-and-a-half hours of talks over a lunch of fish, wine, and champagne in Paris this Wednesday, and the very next day, Olaf Scholz departed for Greece.
Well, Berlin itself is in dire need of military armaments as it is speculated that its ammunition is running far lower than the standards of NATO. So, it had to succumb to the pressure of France at any cost because only France is closer to Germany and only it could save its face in the time of crisis, whether it is military or even economic.
Olaf is trying to influence Macron on a broad range of issues, including the MidCat Pipeline, gas sharing, and the European Solidarity Act. This may be the cause of Olaf Scholz’s dancing to the French tunes and leaving Erdogan amidst a volatile crisis.
Yet, it is best to not take Berlin’s latest criticism of Turkey seriously because no one should trust Germany when it comes to foreign diplomacy, the nation has a flip-flop policy. But for the time being, Olaf must oppose Ankara and take sides with Greece and France if it wants to gain something fruitful out of it.