When Greece first came close to a sovereign default in 2010, the eurozone and even the entire European Union seemed to be at risk of fragmentation. Rather than break up, the currency bloc forged new mechanisms to handle the crisis—and the balance of power on fiscal policy within the EU tilted decisively toward Germany as its economic guarantor.
This pattern could now be repeated with regard to European foreign policy.
Officials in Brussels insist that the victory of the hard-left Syriza party in last week’s Greek elections does not threaten the eurozone. But they worry that it could contribute to a breakdown of the EU’s common front against Russia over the Ukraine crisis. Members of the incoming Greek administration have not only declared their opposition to any further sanctions against Moscow, but stipulated that they are “working to prevent a rift between the European Union and Russia.”