Papandreou's Foreign Policy

Courtesy Reuters

Relations between Greece and the United States are strained. From the anti-American rhetoric of Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou and his Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), and after a series of irritating incidents, tensions have developed that pose troublesome questions about the course of Greek policy and Greek relations with the West.

Last May, addressing his PASOK Party Congress, Papandreou launched a blistering attack on the United States, charging it with a strategy of "expansionism and domination." In July, his government decided to free a Jordanian terrorist despite U.S. intelligence reports that the prisoner had arranged for a bomb to be planted on an Athens-Tel Aviv passenger flight. A month later, the Greek government was unwilling to prevent striking workers from blocking the entrances to U.S. military bases. The United States retaliated by hinting that it would prevent the transfer of older F-5 jets from Norway to Greece and would instead divert them to Turkey. A Greek government spokesman responded angrily that Greece was "not a U.S. colony." In October, Papandreou lashed out at the United States again: he claimed that "the Korean 007 airliner was in fact performing a CIA spy mission," and boasted that "we were the only ones who did not become hysterical over the issue."

The prime minister underlines his anti-American declarations with frequent pro-Soviet statements. He has gone on record as saying that since the U.S.S.R. is not a capitalist country "one cannot label it an imperialist power." According to Papandreou, "the U.S.S.R. represents a factor that restricts the expansion of capitalism and its imperialistic aims." Papandreou is the first Western prime minister to visit General Wojciech Jaruzelski in Poland, and while in Warsaw last October he praised the military dictatorship and attacked the Solidarity labor movement.

On the essentials of foreign policy, Papandreou and his party have maintained their links to the West. The strategic value of Greece remains undiminished. The U.S. bases in Greece hold considerable importance

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