Greece coronavirus success but neighboring Turkey and the policies of Iran may jettison this
Chika Mori and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
In recent times the nation of Greece hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons. This notably applies to the economic crisis, debt problems, high unemployment, and issues related to mainly Muslim migrants fleeing Sharia states or war-torn areas. Therefore, when coronavirus (Covid-19) hit Belgium, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom; the fear was that Greece would follow.
Logically, this was based on the ongoing deaths blighting these nations, even if it appears that Italy and Spain are turning the corner. On top of this, the economic angle, the densely populated cities of Athens and Thessaloniki, lack of health care facilities if hit by coronavirus, migrants and refugees, high elderly population, and other factors; then Greece seemed high on the list to be hit hard.
Yet, currently, the death toll is 102 and with just over 2,150 cases on statistics that apply to early April 16. The current success is based on early action. For example, allowing people to phone for prescriptions, canceling parades, and shutting down the economy.
The Guardian reports, “In late February, before Greece had recorded its first death, carnival parades were canceled. On 4 March, before most of Europe, schools were ordered closed. Within days, bars, cafes, restaurants, nightclubs, gyms, malls, cinemas, retail stores, museums and archaeological sites were also shuttered.”
The Independent cautions, “For now, however, the lower death rate in Greece could mean a more positive outlook than many of its close neighbors such as Italy; but the heavy police presence on the capital’s streets suggests an ongoing anxiety for a fragile healthcare system, which could quickly buckle under pressure.”
Of course, the refugee and migrant angle is also a concern that is raised by both The Guardian and The Independent, and other media sources. However, another angle may jettison all the promising foundations installed by Greece. This applies to the growing coronavirus crisis in Turkey and the Iran angle.
It could well be that Greece will face the flow of coronavirus from both directions. In other words, Greece is preventing the European coronavirus crisis from overwhelming the nation. Yet, the fear persists is that the Iran angle and the growing crisis in Turkey may threaten Greece from another direction.
Iran kept open special flights to China long before they should have been shut down. At the same time, the Iranian Islamic authoritarian theocracy downplayed the threat of coronavirus. On top of this, Iran’s involvement in regional conflicts – from Iraq to Syria – is also endangering the region with the spread of coronavirus emanating by the policies of Iran.
Turkey is now showing horrendous signs about coronavirus. This relates to growing deaths and numbers of infected people. Indeed, currently, the infection numbers in Turkey are the ninth highest in the world. Therefore, the geographic angle – and migrants and refugees from various nations fleeing Turkey based on the economic angle and the fear of coronavirus in this nation – may further increase pressure on Greece.
Thus, political elites in Greece must be watching events in Turkey with apprehension because the coronavirus crisis is growing in this nation. Equally worrying, is various ethnic migrant groups and refugees in Turkey may take more risks in reaching Greece. This is based on the fear of coronavirus and growing hostility in Turkey towards them. Therefore, with Greece already facing problems in housing migrants and refugees; the crisis in Turkey and geographic angle may unleash a new wave of coronavirus in this country – thus, caution is still needed.
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