With the usual shoddiness and irresponsibility that is the hallmark of the government’s entire tenure, outgoing foreign minister Nikos Kotzias raised the issue of the extension of Greek territorial waters, triggering unnecessary tensions with Turkey.

Just as in the case of negotiations with Skopje, the government and Mr. Kotzias are operating with their personal opportunistic criteria, without even a rudimentary understanding with or briefing of the opposition.

Foreign policy, especially when it is linked to issues of security and defence, leaves no room for fleeting, petty partisan games. Sensationalist moves have often become a boomerang, at the expense of the country’s interests and of those who conceived of them.

It is indeed true that “the extension of territorial waters are a legal and inalienable right of Greece according to international law”, but that does not mean that one can ignore either the international confluence of events, or the perpetually hostile posture and threats of Turkey. That is all the more true when on such delicate issues there is a longstanding national position which is generally accepted.

The outgoing foreign minister, with his trademark megalomania, unnecessarily opened an issue without substantial results, and gave an equally megalomaniacal Turkish leadership the opportunity, in order to create a sensation domestically, to bring to the forefront the 1995 decision of Turkey’s parliament, which state that an extension of Greek territorial waters would for Ankara constitute a casus belli, or cause for war.

It should have been self-evident that the defence of Greece’s national interests cannot be accomplished with remarks during the handover of the foreign ministry by the outgoing minister.

It should have been obvious preparation, dialogue, and above all a clear and cohesive national strategy are what is needed.

The kind of shoddiness and communications motives that is habitual for this government can only cause harm on such issues.