Why doesn 't the European Union eject Greece?

Just to add a complementary point of view, because most of the answers here focus on Eu ‘s fear of economic crisis contagion to other peripheral or Southern states. 

EU can not eject Greece because it is its Orient doorkeeper.

Historically, it has often been. EU needs to keep Greece for different reasons : 1) contain immigration in peripheral states and 2) provide strategic defense basis in the Eastern Mediterranean sea.

The EU policy on immigraion depends on Italy and Greece - and outside the EU Turkey and Libya. Libya and Turkey got a substantial amount of money from the EU to contain immigration and park migrants in camps [1,2 ].  Greece is the next nation on the map and therefore a very crucial piece of the puzzle to implement EU immigration policies - basically prevent migrants to reach France, UK and Germany. Like Bulgaria, Greece had to build walls and fences at its border in order to keep receiving help from the EU [3, 4 ].

On a side note, the new Siriza government in Greece has voted to tear down the walls, which is one very bold move against EU core policies [5 ]. This is the first state in the EU to act publicly against the racist and inhuman migration policies that have lead to the deaths of so much people trying to reach the EU during the last decade.

Map of migrations in Europe - from Migreurop

Greece is of the highest strategic importance for the defense plan of the EU.

One other main reason for keeping Greece in the EU at any price is the crucial strategic importance of Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean region. From a very schematic look at history, you could say that Greece has been the place where Arabic and Persian armies fight the European ones. Despite political turmoil of the last decades, Greece have kept a quite modern and powerful army [6 ], which represents a key assets for NATO.

source : The Economist

Bases from Russia and the US are just a few kilometers from it coasts.

source : The Guardian

Greece is on the road map for important energy projects going from Eastern regions to the EU.

Finally, energy projects are of course of crucial interest for EU members, especially the trans-adriatic pipeline [7 ] which will bring gas from the Caspian sea to Europe. This is an important friction point with Russia - it provides an alternate route to avoid the gas going through Ukraine.

source : Oil & Gas Mediterranean

So, despite the common currency and economic reasons, there is also real strategical reasons for the EU to keep Greece very close.


[1 ] Libya Detention Profile - Introduction [2 ] Turkey - the Demographic-Economic Framework of Migration - from EU Migration Policy Centre [3 ] Is Bulgaria’s border wall forcing migrants to risk deadly crossings? [4 ] Greece builds wall to stop illegal migrants [5 ] EUROPE - Syriza’s Turkish deputies vow to ‘tear down wall’ in Thrace [6 ] 2015 Greece Military Strength [7 ] Trans-Adriatic Pipeline Deal: Does European Union, Azerbaijan Agreement Undermine Russian Energy Plans?

This text was originally published in quora.

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