chapter  1
19 Pages

Greece: a peace-making role lost and re-found

In Greece, nationalist energies were channelled away from the Balkans and towards the island of Cyprus, especially during the 1967-74 dictatorship of the Greek Colonels. The year 1981 marked the start of a long political ascendancy of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK). It would be in charge of the government except for the years 1989-93 until 2004. Andreas Papandreou, its leader, came to represent the political attitudes of Greece for much of the rest of the world during the fifteen years he held the limelight after 1981. He wished to bury the civil war legacy of the 1940s when the communist-dominated Left was suspected of wishing to place the Greek part of Macedonia in a large communist Slavic state. Papandreou felt that his leftist party with its neutralist Third World orientation would need to strengthen its nationalist credentials (Kofos 1999: 233). This chapter explores the effect of this approach on Greece’s relations with its northern neighbours during the fifteen years in which conflict in the former Yugoslavia superseded the Cold War.