Greece leaving the Eurozone could lead to the country turning more towards extreme politics with Russia and China increasing influence, says Keit Kasemets, an adviser to the OECD.
“A left-populist government is ruling Greece right now, and its radical wing goes against many policies of the European Union, and among other side effects, it is Russian-friendly. Leaving the Eurozone would bring economic, and also political, chaos. In these situations it is the radicals who usually prevail,” Kasemets told ERR.
He said leaving the currency area could lead to an even more radical and unstable government. Greece is next to the Balkans, where Russia and the EU are locked in an influence battle and the EU will have fewer opportunities to influence the path Greece might choose to take, Kasemets said.
“We should remember that Greece will continue as a EU and NATO member, even if it leaves the Eurozone and in that new reality, the decisions of its government might not be so pro-Europe,” he said, adding that currently the EU is unified in its foreign policy decisions.
Besides the topic of Russian aggression, Greece could halt the Eastern Partnership initiative by not ratifying the association agreement with Ukraine, Kasemets said, adding that the same goes for NATO, where decisions are the result of a consensus, and in a real conflict situation, Greece has the power to cause problems.
EU and the European Commission should make compromises, especially on restructuring loans, to keep Greece from drifting from the core of Europe, Kasemets said.
Editor: J.M. Laats