Foreign Policy Against Austerity: Syriza’s Multifaceted Experiment



The election of Syriza to power on January 25, 2015 marked a turning point in Greek foreign policy and the country’s relations with its European partners. The 40-year-old new prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, quickly formed a coalition government with the much smaller right-wing Independent Greeks (ANEL) party. Syriza was the dominant partner—149 parliamentary seats compared to ANEL’s 13, out of 300—and almost certainly the most left-wing party in power anywhere in Europe. It was estimated that as many as a third of its members—but not voters—were “Maoists, Marxists and supporters of Che Guevara” (Economist January 29, 2015). Crucially, though, Syriza was staunchly pro-European.


European Union Prime Minister Foreign Policy Foreign Minister Sovereign Debt Crisis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Ahren R. New Greek PM is Pro-Palestinian, But Envoy To Israel Predicts “Only Positive Things,” The Times of Israel, January 29 2015. [Accessed October 19, 2015].
  2. Alderman L. & Kitsantonis, N. ‘As Greek Bailout Passes, Alexis Tsipras Faces Rebellion’, The New York Times, August 14 2015. [Accessed November 15 2015].
  3. Allen, B.W. 1988. George Washington: A Collection. Liberty Classics: Indianapolis.Google Scholar
  4. Angelos, A. 2015. The Full Catastrophe: Travels Among the New Greek Ruins. New York: Crown Publishers.Google Scholar
  5. Antoniou D. 2015. The Secret Meeting in May For Plan B. Kathimerini, October 11 2015, p. 11. [In Greek].Google Scholar
  6. Applebaum A. 2015. “A Greek Play on Europe’s New Divide”. The Washington Post, February 8 2015, p. A 19.Google Scholar
  7. Athanasopoulos A, “Myths and Truths About The Loans From Beijing-Moscow”, To Vima, March 29 2015a. [Accessed November 5, 2015] [In Greek].
  8. Athanasopoulos A. “The Snow is Melting in Athens-Moscow Relations”. To Vima, February 15 2015b. p A19. [In Greek].Google Scholar
  9. Bershidsky L. 2015. “Did Putin Sell Out Greece?” Bloomberg View July 22 2015. [Accessed September 4, 2015]
  10. Blaveris L. “The Give And Take With Russia”. Axia, April 16 2015, p. 33. [In Greek].Google Scholar
  11. Charap S. & Sucher B. “Why Sanctions on Russia Will Backfire”. The New York Times, March 5 2015. [Accessed August 14, 2015].
  12. Champion M. “Syriza’s Dangerous View of Russia.” Bloomberg, February 4 2015. Available at: [Accessed August 29, 2015].
  13. Christodoulakis, N. 2015. Germany’s War Debt To Greece: A Burden Unsettled. Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstroke.Google Scholar
  14. Coalson R. 2015. “New Greek Government Has Deep, Long-Standing Ties With Russian ‘Fascist’ Dugin.” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, January 28 2015. [Accessed, August 29, 2015].
  15. Daley S. & Hartocollis A. “Greek ‘No’ May Have Its Roots in Heroic Myths and Real Resistance.” The New York Times, July 6 2015.
  16. Diamandouros, N. 2000. [In Greek]Political Bifurcation and Political Change in Change of Regime Greece: A Framework of Interpretation. Ekdoseis Alexandreia: Athens.Google Scholar
  17. Dyer G. “Washington Fears Losing Greece To Moscow.” Financial Times, June 21 2015. [Accessed September 4, 2015].
  18. Early, R.B. 2005. Busted Sanctions: Explaining Why Economic Sanctions Fail. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Economist Τhe. “Beware of Greeks Voting For Gifts.” January 29 2015. Available at: [Accessed August 10, 2015].
  20. Ellis A. “Greece Basic Partner of Israel.” Kathimerini, May 24 2015. p. 24. [In Greek].Google Scholar
  21. Embassy of the United States, Athens. Statement by Ambassador David D. Pearce. April 20 2015. [Accessed September 3, 2015].
  22. Emmott B. & Polityuk P. “E.U. Wins Greek Backing to Extend Russia Sanctions, Delays Decision On New Steps”, Reuters, January 29 2015. idUSKBN0L22B720150129 [Accessed August 14, 2015].
  23. English Kathimerini. “China-Greece “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.” June 17 2014. [Accessed November 1, 2015].
  24. English Kathimerini. “Schaeuble Doesn’t Like Greek Proximity to Russia.” February 2 2015. [Accessed August 29, 2015].
  25. Ethnos. “Dragasakis: We Believed That If We Threatened With an Exit, the EU Would Be Scared-We Made a Mistake.” August 13 2015a. [Accessed August 13, 2015] [In Greek].
  26. Ethnos. “Lafazanis: Independent Energy Policy-We Are Subject of No One.” March 31 2015b. [Accessed August 31, 2015] [In Greek].
  27. Friedman, G. 2015. Flashpoints The Emerging Crisis in Europe. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  28. Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “New Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias’ Approach to Greek Foreign Policy.” January 29 2015. [Accessed November 26, 2015].
  29. Herszenhorn M. D. & Alderman L. “Putin Meets With Alexis Tsipras of Greece, Raising Eyebrows in Europe.” The New York Times, April 8 2015. [Accessed September 1, 2015].
  30. Iefimerida. “[Let’s] Go to The BRICS to Get Funding Without Memoranda.” May 13 2015a. [Accessed October 21, 2015] [In Greek].
  31. Iefimerida. “Karpathos is Proposed by Kammenos For a NATO Base.” May 21 2015b. [Accessed September 5, 2015] [In Greek].
  32. Iliadakis T. The Reparations and the German Occupation Loan, Athens: Pelasgos, 2012, ΙΙ ed [In Greek]Google Scholar
  33. Jerusalem Post. “Greek Town Slammed After It Nixes Holocaust Memorial For Displaying Star of David.” May 16 2015. [Accessed October 18, 2015].
  34. Jones S. & Hope K. “Wooing of Moscow Raises Western Hackles.” Financial Times, January 29 2015, p. 6.Google Scholar
  35. Kanter J. “After Talks, Eurozone and Greece Fail to Settle Differences Over Debt.” The New York Times, February 11 2015a [Accessed August 30, 2015].
  36. Kanter J. “U.S. Urges Greece To Reject Russian Energy Project.” The New York Times, May 8 2015b [Accessed September 3, 2015].
  37. Kathimerini. “Agreement For The Stationing of Israeli Forces.” July 22 2015 [Accessed October 20, 2015] [In Greek].
  38. Keinon H. “Israel, Greece, Cyprus Likely to Hold 3-Way Gas Summit in January.” The Jerusalem Post, November 25 2015. [Accessed November 25, 2015].
  39. Kennedy S. “BRICS Bank Invite to Greece Has Jim O’Neil Thinking It’s a Joke.” Bloomberg, May 14 2015. [Accessed October 22, 2015].
  40. Kontorovich E. “Europe Mislabels Israel.” The New York Times, November 13 2015. [Accessed November 14, 2015).
  41. Kotzias, N. 2013. [In Greek]Greece Colony of Debt: European Empire and German Primacy. Ekdoseis Pataki: Athens.Google Scholar
  42. ———. 2014. [In Greek]Patriotism And The Left Social And Cultural Struggles For Patriotism and Internationalism. Ekdoseis Pataki: Athens.Google Scholar
  43. Liacouras, P. 2007. [In Greek]The Cyprus Issue From Zurich to Lucerne: In Search of a Federal Resolution. I. Sideris: Athens.Google Scholar
  44. Lavdas A K. Litsas N.S. & Skiadas V.D. Stateness and Sovereign Debt: Greece in the European Conundrum. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2013.Google Scholar
  45. MacFarqhuar N. “Kremlin Cutting Economic Links With the Turks. The New York Times, November 26 2015. [Accessed November 26, 2015].
  46. Marcus G. Mystery Train. Images of America In RockNRoll Music. New York: A Plume Book, 2008, V rev. ed.Google Scholar
  47. Mason, P. 2015. “The Inside Story of Syriza’s Struggle to Save Greece.” The Nation, December 18 2015. [Accessed December 24, 2015].
  48. Mazower M. “European Democracy Enters Dangerous Times.” Financial Times, January 30 2015. [Accessed August 11, 2015].
  49. Mearsheimer, J.J. 2014. Why the Ukraine Crisis is the West’s Fault. The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin. Foreign Affairs 93(5): 77–89.Google Scholar
  50. Münchau W. “Tsipras Will Not Find Salvation in Moscow.” Financial Times, April 5 2015. [Accessed September 1, 2015]
  51. Naftemporiki. “Decrease by 12% of Exports to Russia in 2014 Due to the Embargo.” February 20 2015a. [Accessed August 28, 2015] [In Greek].
  52. Naftemporiki. “Tough Reply By P. Lafazanis To The US About the Russian Gas Pipeline.” June 5 2015b. [Accessed September 3, 2015] [In Greek].
  53. Natural Gas Europe. “Greece Looks Into Russian Gas Projects. February 13 2015. [Accessed August 31, 2015].
  54. NGTV. “Cyprus Executes International Search & Rescue Trainings, July 1st”. June 26 2015. [Accessed October 18, 2015].
  55. OnAlert. “797 Sorties By Aircrafts in CHARIOTEER.” [online] April 12 2015a. [Accessed October 19, 2015]. [In Greek].
  56. OnAlert. “Air “Wall” In The Aegean By Greece-Israel-USA.” April 14 2015b. [Accessed October 19, 2015] [In Greek].
  57. OnAlert. “‘3Ds’ Greece’s New Geopolitical Doctrine Was Presented by FM Nikos Kotzias.” [online] June 11 2015c. [Accessed August 13, 2015] [In Greek].
  58. Palaiologos Y. “China’s New Silk Road Might Save Greece.” Politico, January 5 2015. [Accessed October 25, 2015].
  59. Papadopoulos P. “The Drachma Conspirators: Leonid, Alexis and Panayiotis.” To Vima, July 19 2015, p. A 10. [In Greek].Google Scholar
  60. Proto Thema. “For 9 May The Invitation by Putin to Tsipras For a Visit to Mos-cow.” February 5 2015. [Accessed August 30, 2015] [In Greek].
  61. Proto Thema. “Venceremos! Greek Minister: Venezuela An. .. “Example For Smaller Countries”” May 15 2015a. [Accessed October 22, 2015].
  62. Ravid B. “European FMs Urge Policy Chief: Label West Bank Settlement Products.” Haaretz. April 16 2015b. [Accessed September 16, 2015].
  63. Reuters. “Russia Would Consider Aid to Greece If Asked–Siluanov.” January 29 2015a. (online). [Accessed August 30, 2015].
  64. Reuters. “Russia Denies German Report it is Ready to Sign Deal With Greece.” April 18 2015b. [Accessed September 3, 2015].
  65. Rudoren J. & Sewell C. “E.U. Move to Label Israeli Settlement Goods Strains Ties”, The New York Times, November 11 2015. [Accessed November 12, 2015].
  66. Scimia E. “Greece’s Reversal Puts China’s Mediterranean Plans Back On Track.” World Politics Review, February 27 2015. [Accessed October 22, 2015].
  67. Sideris S. “When Moscow Was Asking For “Facilitations.”” Kathimerini, November 1 2015. [Accessed November 2, 2015] [In Greek].
  68. Skordeli, M. 2015. New Horizons in Greek-Chinese Relations: Prospects for the Eastern Mediterranean. Mediterranean Quarterly 26(1): 59–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Smith H. “Alexis Tsipras Calls Western Sanctions Against Russia “Road To Nowhere.”” The Guardian, March 31 2015. [Accessed August 31, 2015].
  70. Spiegel. “Merkel’s Unintended Creation: Could Tsipras’ Win Upset Balance of Power in Europe?” January 30 2015. [Accessed August 13, 2015].
  71. Spiegel P. & Donnan S. “US Urges Eurozone To Meet Athens Halfway.” Financial Times, February 9 2015. p. 2.Google Scholar
  72. Stamouli N. “Germany Owes $303 Billion War Debt Greek Parliament Told.” The Wall Street Journal, April 7 2015. [Accessed August 14, 2015].
  73. Sokou K.. “US: “Greece Part of the Problem if Turkish Pipeline Proceeds.”” June 3 2015. Kathimerini. [Accessed September 3, 2015] [In Greek].
  74. S.Y.R.I.Z.A. Positions for Foreign Policy. January 2015. [Accessed June 20, 2015] [In Greek].
  75. Ta Nea. “”Moscow and Athens Will Give Rebirth to Military Cooperation”, Say the Russians.” February 3 2015a. [Accessed August 30, 2015] [In Greek].
  76. Ta Nea. “In a Warm Atmosphere the Kotzias-Lavrov Meeting in Moscow.” February 11 2015b. Available at: [Accessed August 30, 2015] [In Greek].
  77. Ta Nea. “Kammenos: Interest for Co-Exploitation of Deposits With The USA.” March 29 2015c. [Accessed September 5, 2015] [In Greek].
  78. Ta Nea. “Reservations From the USA For Kammenos’ Trip To Moscow.” April 15 2015d. [Accessed September 2, 2015] [In Greek].
  79. The Guardian. “US Blacklists Two Greek “Terrorists” After Country Passes New Prison Reform Law.” April 21 2015. [Accessed September 3, 2015].
  80. To Vima. “Dritsas: “The Selling of the Port of Piraeus Will Stop.”” January 27 2015a. [Accessed October 25, 2015] [In Greek].
  81. To Vima. “P. Kammenos: “Cooperation Between Greece and Israel Will Continue.”” February 2 2015b. [Accessed October 19, 2015] [In Greek].
  82. To Vima. “Al. Tsipras: “We Will Support Chinese Investments in Piraeus.” February 19 2015c. [Accessed November 1, 2015] [In Greek].
  83. To Vima. “N Kotzias: We are Equal Members in the EU, We Are Not to Be Shoved Around.” February 27 2015d. [Accessed August 13, 2015] [In Greek].
  84. To Vima. “Greece-Russia Agreed on the Implementation of a Gas Pipeline.” June 19 2015e. [Accessed September 4, 2015] [In Greek].
  85. To Vima. ““Emptying Out” of Athens by Moscow Concerning The BRICS Bank.” July 2 2015f. [Accessed October 22, 2015] [In Greek].
  86. Traynor, I., 2015. Three Days To Save The Euro. The Guardian October 22. Available at: [Accessed October 22, 2015].
  87. Tsafos N. “How Will Turkish Stream Impact SE Europe?” Enalytica, April 2015. [Accessed August 31, 2015].
  88. Tziampiris, A. 2000. Greece, European Political Cooperation and the Macedonian Question. Aldershot: Ashgate Press.Google Scholar
  89. ———. 2010. Greek Foreign Policy and Russia: Political Realignment, Civilizational Aspects and Realism. Mediterranean Quarterly 21(2): 78–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. ———. 2013. Greek Foreign Policy in the Shadow of the Economic Crisis. In Greece’s Horizons: Reflecting on the Country’s Assets and Capabilities, eds. P. Sklias and N. Tzifakis, 27–40. Berlin: Springer-Verlag and The Konstantinos Karamanlis Institute for Democracy Series on European and International Affairs.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. ———. 2015a. The Emergence of Israeli Greek Cooperation. New York: Springer-Verlag.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. ———. 2015b. In the Shadow of a Long and Glorious History: Understanding Greek Foreign Policy. Mediterranean Quarterly 26(2): 63–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Tziampiris A. 2015c. “The Israeli-Greek Rapprochement: Stability and Cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean” in Litsas N. Sp & Tziampiris A. (eds.), The Eastern Mediterranean in Transition: Multipolarity, Politics and Power, Aldershot: Ashgate Press, 2015c, pp. 239–254.Google Scholar
  94. Walker S. “Alexis Tsipras in Moscow Asks Europe To End Sanctions Against Russia.” The Guardian, April 8 2015 [Accessed September 1, 2015].
  95. Yardley J. & Becker J. “How Putin Forged a Pipeline Deal That Derailed.” The New York Times, December 30 2014. [Accessed August 30, 2015].
  96. Zachmann G. & Tagliapietra S. “Will Natural Gas Cooperation With Russia Save The Greek Economy?”, Bruegel, April 17 2015. [Accessed September 3, 2015].

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of PiraeusPiraeusUSA

Personalised recommendations