What does the Trump Presidency mean for Greece?

What does the Trump Presidency mean for Greece?

Trump’s swearing in and his first public statements far from reassured Europe in a world going through dramatic changes and at a time when many open issues dominate a weakened European Union, after Brexit.

The desire of the new White House occupant to protect the American economy and the change in the anti-Russian doctrine that previously prevailed in Washington, have alarmed Europe and particularly those countries that in one way or another had the benefit of financial transactions with the USA.

What can this mean for Greece, at a time when it seems the American – lead IMF is proceeding to changes, NATO is on hold with respect to its new role and the EU is trying to adapt to new conditions?

Surely Greece cannot expect solutions from the other side of the Atlantic. It would be unrealistic to expect this. But what it could do and is so far doing is to keep channels of communication open with the new White House leadership. One can say that ”Allies” in this effort could also be the Hellenic American origin Trump staff members, George Gigicos Deputy assistant to Donald Trump and Reince Priebus, White House Chief of staff.

However the fact that two Greek Americans are so close to the US president does not mean that they will also become Greece’s ambassadors for the new government as primarily they are US citizens and they care about their own country. America first, as Donald Trump exclaimed in his first speech.

What is of particular importance are the contacts that the Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias will have in September 2016 in New York with Donald Trump’s staff. He was perhaps the only politician from a European country who came into contact with the staff of the then presidential candidate. And he was amongst the first who again met with members of the Trump Government in early January in New York.

The weight that these contacts may or may not have had will be revealed in the near future, but what can be said for certain is that the first steps for the correct and prompt information of the new US government from Greece have been taken.

On other issues, a change in the structure of the IMF may prove positive for Greece through a departure or a retreat by the Fund as far as the Greek Government’s assistance program is concerned.

On the other hand stability in Greece and its geographical position can still provide it with more power in the new geostrategic planning taking place.

The circumstances are influential and the Greek government should seize the opportunity to take the lead, not just follow what the powerful dictate./IBNA