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Saturday May 18, 2024
Testata per la stampa

Unholy Alliance: Greece and Milosevic's Serbia

by: Takis Michas
published by
: Texas A&M University Press: 1 edition (April 2, 2002)
pp: 200
ISBN: 158544183X
price: 29.95$

As the only member of NATO and the European Union to support Slobodan Milosevic's regime in the conflict following the breakup of Yugoslavia, Greece broke ranks with its Western allies, frustrating their efforts to impose sanctions against Serbia. Distinguished Greek journalist Takis Michas covered the war in the Balkans during the 1990s and saw at first hand the effects of Greek support for Serbia. In this gripping account, he follows Greek-Serbian relations and tackles the difficult question of how the Greek people could ignore Serbian aggression and war crimes.
The pro-Serbian stance taken by Athens shocked many who assumed that all members of NATO would follow the lead of the United States and the United Nations. Instead, Greece supported Serbia from the outbreak of war in the former Yugoslavia in 1991 through the NATO bombing and occupation of Kosovo eight years later. Mikas combines journalistic accounts with anecdotes and personal interviews to show a pattern of Greek support for Milosevic and Radovan Karadzic that implicates Greek politicians from all parties, as well as the Greek Orthodox Church, the Greek media, and ultimately the Greek people themselves.
To explain this extensive disregard of human rights violations in Bosnia and Kosovo, Michas looks beyond the common invocation of shared Orthodox religion. More important, he believes, is the shared ideology of ethnic nationalism, which precludes multiculturalism and a viable civil society. Greece could ignore gross human rights violations in Bosnia or Kosovo, Michas argues, because they could be written off as unfortunate byproducts of the higher goal of ethnic purity. He demonstrates as well the importance of the rise of Orthodox fundamentalism and the place of conspiracy theories in the discourse of Greek nationalism. Finally, he provides an analysis of contemporary anti-American sentiments in Greece and elsewhere, which he argues express new political and ideological realities.
The evidence and conclusions presented in this imminently readable book will disturb those who believe that a new liberal order replaced the ideological standoff of the Cold War, but they will not surprise those who suspect that older allegiances have now claimed the loyalties of many of the world's peoples.


Table of contents

1.    “United Like a Fist!”2. Plans for Macedonia3. The Blame Game4. The Spirit of Enterprise
2.      Plans for Macedonia
3.      The Blame Game
4.    The Spirit of Enterprise

5. Hating the “Franks”
6.A Very Special Relationship

Ideology and Institutions
7. The Radicalization of the Orthodox Church
8. The Logic of Ethnic Nationalism
9. The New Anti-Americanism


About the Author

Takis Michas has worked as a professional journalist since 1985. He is based in Athens, where he works for the Greek daily Eleftherotypia. He is the author of two previous books and has contributed articles to The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, and other major publications. A former senior advisor on media to the Greek Minister of Trade and Industry, Michas has done doctoral-level studies at the University of California in Santa Cruz and the International University in Dubrovnik.


“Takis Michas’ The Unholy Alliance constitutes an insightful analysis and devastating critique of Greece’s reactive ethnonationalism. It should be essential reading not only for those in the West that are interested in Balkan politics but also for all those Greeks that take seriously the Socratic saying: ‘Know thyself.’
- (Nicos Mouzelis, London School of Economics)

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