Athens think tank president: Continuing Greek crisis entails risks of 'desperate acts'

Thursday, 19 January 2017 10:06
UPD:10:06
Naftemporiki.gr

Loukas Tsoukalis, the president of the Athens-based Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)

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By V. Kostoulas
vkost@naftemporiki.gr

Noted academic and political analyst Loukas Tsoukalis this week referred to a Trump version of a "new world order" as possibly rallying Europeans, and even checking the centrifugal political tendencies now apparent on the continent's political landscape.

Tsoukalis, the president of the Athens-based Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP), one of the premier think-tanks in the country, also warned that a continuing Greek crisis could lead to "desperate acts" in the country, and even a "national suicide".

The University of Athens professor, whose area of expertise is European integration, told "N" that such actions would come amid an unprecedented -- by post-Cold War standards -- international situation. As such, he said Greece's political leadership must reach a minimum consensus over a national strategy to exit the ongoing crisis.

Nevertheless, Tsoukalis said very few developments are to be expected before a bevy of elections in Europe until the autumn of 2017.

In terms of Brexit, he expressed a view that the British opted for a "self-inflicted injury", while not ruling out a "reassessment" of the radical decision to leave the European Union.

Tsoukalis also took a slightly different angle in the burgeoning debate over the rise of populism around the world, focusing instead on the problems that feed, as he said, the 21st century version of this political phenomenon.

His latest book is entitled "In Defence of Europe: Can the European Project Be Saved?".

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