By Lili Bayer
Summary Greece is a highly strategic country where foreign powers have traditionally competed for influence. For European governments today, maintaining Greece as a member of Western economic and defense blocs and ensuring the country’s political stability is a priority. Greece’s strategic significance is shaping Europe’s response to the financial and refugee crises.
The first king of modern Greece, Otto I, was imported from Bavaria in the 1830s at the behest of three European powers: Russia, Britain and France. In 1863, a Danish prince was also invited to rule. As the Ottoman Empire’s hold on the region weakened, European powers became more involved in shaping the future of Greece, at times intervening militarily and directly influencing domestic politics. Much of Greece’s modern history is the story of its relationships with several major powers – Britain, France, Russia, Turkey, the United States and Germany. On the surface, Greece often appears periphera