Southeastern Mediterranean, a world that is changing

Southeastern Mediterranean, a world that is changing

Athens, January 8, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

Great mobility on many levels can be seen recently in the wider region of ​​Southeastern Europe and the Mediterranean.

The instability of the global economic environment, geopolitical changes, the failure of Western policy in the wider region and the discovery of natural resources able to turn paupers countries into energy giants, creates a climate of optimism and intense fermentation in the region.

The issues are many and open. Civil wars, giant waves of immigration towards Europe, increasing extremism and terrorism, uncertainty and insecurity in society, increased nationalism are just some of the issues that shape the political movements both of the leaders of the countries of the region and the powerful countries.

New leaders are emerging, new foreign policy expressions are formed. The need and the pressure of society for a safer and more decent environment create the need for their reshape.

Both the American factor and the Russian have projections in the region. The landscape is fluid and the chances to win over some countries under their influence is always open. Nothing is clear yet, since tactical mistakes of leading forces are causing instability in relations with other countries.

It is evident that we are entering a new phase of the Cold War, not with just two gladiators, but with many more, who are however in the shadow of the actual political scene, who are none else than the economic elite that supports and finances politicians and governments and ultimately “decides” for the future.

Political instability brings economic instability and this is not what the economic players want at this time. For this reason, they are pushing in any way to find solutions. They do not want winners and losers, but new customers. The recession in Europe, China’s instability and wars in the Middle East is causing irritation in the markets and natural loss in profits.

Solutions are being sought for the region. Sisi in Egypt, after the failed experiment of the Arab Spring, is a predictable leader who slowly began taking society at his side. Erdogan is an unexcelled leader and definitely inspires confidence in a global game that is being played.

Netanyahu now discusses and he is not the hardcore person of previous years. In Greece Tsipras shapes the profile of a new leader, a fighter and open to challenges, in order to participate in shaping the new landscape. Anastasiades and Akinci speak the same language on many levels.

The Russians need to have a foothold in the region although their ambitions are in the East and especially China. This is where the big bet is for them. But being turned away from Europe and the Mediterranean region would mean a defeat for the new Czar, something Putin would be loath to see happen under his watch.

In time, issues such as the Cyprus matter, the Palestinian, the Syrian, Kurdish, Skopje and others will find their solution. There is both the will and the pressure for this to happen. Fermentations are strong. What remains to be seen is their effect, without winners and losers.