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Thesis & Antithesis

A critical perspective on energy, international politics & current affairs

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Location: Washington, D.C.

greekdefaultwatch@gmail.com Natural gas consultant by day, blogger on the Greek economy by night. Trained as an economist and political scientist. I believe in common sense and in data, and my aim is to offer insight written in language that is clear and convincing.

24 March 2006

The American mindset?

I went to a presentation yesterday on the “Minorities of Greece.” The event series allows young aspiring policymakers to give presentations and get feedback from experts. The content of the presentation was interesting but immaterial to the point I want to make, though it suffices to say that the presenter was critical of Greece’s overall handling of minorities (the focus on the Chams who used to live in Greece but are now in Albania), with comments on the duplicity of not criticizing an EU member, potential destabilization in the Balkans and so on.

At the end of the talk, one of those providing feedback said something to the following effect (I paraphrase): “You touched on some big points but you buried them. You could have talked about how this links to the Iraq war and the effort to bring democracy and federalism as a way for minorities to live together; how it affects the accession of Turkey into the EU and the duplicity about the Armenians; how democratic values are endangered at their place of birth; and how if Greece gave compensation it would remove this potential de-stabilizer in the region; and so on.”

I was amused; and scared. Amused because here is one person who has no idea about anything on the topic trying to frame it in four or five different ways that are inapplicable, irrelevant, or both; scared because he is the kind of person making decisions.

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