Page 56 - Cormorant 2019
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Greece; ‘From Plato to NATO’
Cdr Pete Barfoot
FOLLOWING IN THE STEPS of Lord Byron (and ‘the herd’ as Blur once put it),
two syndicates from the Ways module visited Greece to study
Defence Engagement in practice. Since Greek independence in 1821, Britain has been a steadfast ally to Greece and this strong relationship was evident in the generous and warm welcome we received.
Greece currently faces a number of economic, societal and geo-political
   challenges. Over the last 9 years
they have lost 25% of their GDP, approximately 0.5 million people (mainly young) have left for other EU nations.
In addition they sit in the middle of the ‘South East Instability Arc’, with ongoing stabilisation operations in the Balkans, the annexation of Crimea, civil war in Syria and instability in Libya. Not only do these conflicts affect them, through the migrant crisis, but they still perceive Turkey as their greatest threat, despite both being members of NATO. Despite these challenges, the Greeks remain positive and remind the world that they have survived such situations before.
ACSC started the week hosted by
both the British Embassy and Athenian Officers Club in Athens, where we
also toured the Parthenon on the Acropolis and discussed the experiment of modern democracy as Socrates would have done in Athens nearly

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