On April 12th, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) together with its Greek partner organisations “Forum for Greece“ and “European Expression” will host the conference “North-South Relations in the EU: Clashes of National Stereotypes in a Period of Economic Crisis” in downtown Athens. We are pleased to have Kostis Hatzidakis, Minister for Development and Infrastructure of the Hellenic Republic, as speaker for our conference, as well as Jorgo Chatzimarkakis MEP and Prof. Theodoros Pelagidis, among others.
>> Preliminary Programme (pdf-file)
One of the most unwelcome effects of the crisis has been the breaking up of the fragile lines of EU unity. The crisis either revealed or enhanced the existence of national stereotypes. Most characteristic of all was probably the emergence of a “dividing line” between Germans and Greeks. Even though this re-emergence has been mainly of an emotional character and in response to the new burdens the two nations had to carry because of the crisis, it has lead to policies being formulated in accordance with the notion of the “other” prevailing in each country.
The insistence of policies of austerity for the indebted countries of the South on the part of Germany and “the North” in general, as well as the emergence of more or less extremist parties in Greece who do not only target the Memorandum, but indulge in high anti-German rhetoric, are the most characteristic examples of this dangerous new trend. Therefore, Forum for Greece, European Expression and Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) will host a thorough discussion on this issue which affects EU Unity, Greek-German relations and policy decisions at the European, Greek, and, particularly, German level.