Why Greeks love Putin so much

“Why do Greeks appreciate Putin?”. This question was asked by the Deutsche Welle edition, presenting a look at the Greek-Russian relations by columnist Gerd Heller and analyzing publications in the press.

On the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland news network, a journalist says:

“No other country EU Vladimir Putin is not appreciated as much as in Greece. This sympathy has religious, historical and ideological roots. But when it comes to Putin and his war, the country is deeply divided.”

Heller emphasizes that a single religion acts as a strong bond between Russia and Greece:

“In Greece and Russia, Orthodoxy is still an important source of nationalism. This explains the sympathy for Russia of a significant part of the Greek right and the clergy. But this sympathy also has historical roots. Now the war is a great test of Greek sympathy for Russia, because the Greek minority in Ukraine numbers about 150,000 people. According to the poll, only 26% of Greeks are in favor of helping Ukraine. At the same time, 68% say they are dissatisfied with the policies of the Greek government – this percentage may include supporters of the New Democracy. ND has been a sister party of Putin’s United Russia party since 2011. And Putin’s supporters within the party could be a problem for the Greek prime minister ahead of the next election.”

Tagesshau (news bulletins and short reports from state TV channels) comments on the reception of refugees in Greece today in comparison with the 2015 refugee crisis, drawing a distinction between “real” and “fake” refugees, notes Deutsche Welle. For example, the news magazine of the first channel of the German public television ARD presents a caustic comment by Verena Selter:

“The fact that the Ministry of Immigration’s priorities have changed is only apparent from its home page on the Internet: in the center is a list of individual pages of the immigration service. Until recently, the top of the page read in English: “I want to return to my country” and contained information about the easiest way for refugees to return to their country (…). But over the past few weeks, the site has changed dramatically. The first two points are devoted to Ukrainian refugees: organizational issues and donation opportunities. For a better understanding, there are even small hearts in the colors of the Ukrainian flag – a symbol of the new cordiality of the Greek government.”

The article highlights as a summary:

“Compared to 2015, when Greece was suddenly not ready to face hundreds of thousands of refugees, when there was not even infrastructure, not to mention the Ministry of Immigration, many acted as intermediaries. The war in Ukraine shows that Greece is now able to take people in quickly and unbureaucratically. But whether this will happen in the end and how, depends solely on the political will.”

Edition newsbeast.gr recalls that in 2011, Dimitris Avramopoulos, then vice president of New Democracy, traveled to Moscow to sign a memorandum of cooperation and a strategic agreement between the two sides. After signing, he made the following statement:

We signed an agreement with the Speaker of the Russian Parliament Boris Gryzlov on cooperation between New Democracy and the United Russia party. This agreement reflects the relationship of trust and solidarity between the two sides. The connections and relationships that are developed and deepened by the governments and the New Democracy party, from Konstantinos Karamanlis to the present day, have brought significant results. In this context, the strategic agreement between our parties extends to the international, national and regional levels, including a number of areas of strategic importance. This agreement lays a solid foundation between the parties “New Democracy” and “United Russia” – in terms of perspective and depth of time.

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