Thursday, 15 September 2011

Greece and the EEC, 38 years ago

I've just started concentrating some primary material from my PhD research, which I think echoes the current situation of Greece and its financial troubles.

Today, EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said Greece will only receive further EU and International Monetary Fund aid by sticking firmly to its deficit reduction targets.
His exact words were the following:

'The ball is now in the Greek court in a sense that it is essential that Greece will take the necessary decisions and fully fill the fiscal gap that has emerged in the course of this year.'

Here's a quote by a Foreign Office official on Greece and its relation with the European Economic Community, from almost 40 years ago, when the Greek junta was taking some liberalisation measures:

‘Although we were encouraged by recent developments in Greece it would be wrong to expect any dramatic response from us at this stage. There would probably be some room for improving bilateral relations, particularly as there should be a reduction of hostility in Parliament, but we would need to wait and see for a bit longer before taking any major steps.  […] The only real constraint on EEC/Greek relations had been concern in the EEC about conditions in Greece. An improvement in the latter would in due course lead to improvement in the former. We hoped that it would be possible soon to finalise negotiations on the Protocol; but we understood that the ball was in the Greek court(emphasis added).
Source: The National Archives, Foreign and Commonwealth Office files, FCO 1730, ‘Call by Mr Philon’, W107, R F Cornish, Southern European Department, FCO to Baker, 4.10.1973.

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