It takes little imagination to realise that the weaker a country is economically the more vulnerable it is on the international stage and the more susceptible it is to foreign pressures and interventions.

This principle is totally logical and has been demonstrated historically. The Great Powers had in the past conducted politics in our country and often went beyond the limit.

One would like to think that this is a thing of the past. Yet the economic crisis weakened the country and made it vulnerable to such external pressure and intervention.

One reason the economy must be bolstered is so that the government can place limits on the objectives and behaviours of international players, especially if they are not compatible with the national interests.

Eleftherios Venizelos, one of the greatest statesmen of the Modern Greek state, spoke more about interests than about just rights. That example should be a lesson to a country whose leaders defended national “just rights” in a manner which in fact undermined national interests.

In Venizelos’ time this happened with the great “National Division” and very recently it was witnessed when irresponsible populism brought Greece to the brink of leaving the European Union.

Participation in the EU means that our country like other member-states has ceded part of its sovereignty.

It also means that the role of the nation-stage has changed.

Even so, states should be governed by elected leaders.