ATHENS NEWS AGENCY – November 2016
Obama visit of ‘immense importance’ for Greece and Europe, gov’t sources say
U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Greece on November 15-16, 2016 was an event of immense importance for Greece and for Europe, government sources noted. The sources criticized what they called a stance of “blind opposition” adopted by New Democracy in seeking to downplay the importance of a visit that gave active support to Greece and had global reach.
The United States and especially Barack Obama have adopted a stance supportive of Greek positions on a series of crucial issues, the sources pointed out, including on debt relief for Greece that was crucial for its transition to a period of growth and prosperity. Regarding the Cyprus issue, also, for the first time in years the groundwork had been laid for the various sides to agree on a substantive, truly just and viable solution, they pointed out, while also highlighting the visit’s significance for Greece’s foreign policy agenda and its goals to promote peace and stability in the region.
President Obama’s keynote speech from the hill overlooking the Acropolis had historic significance, the government sources pointed out, given that the leader of the U.S. “is selecting the place where democracy was born to deliver his last public speech to an international audience before handing the baton to the new president Trump.”
“A speech that will underline the legacy of the defense of progressive values on a global scale and will be a universal message in support of the universal human values of democracy, social justice, and respect for human rights. At the same time, it will highlight the principled stance, based on humanism and solidarity, shown by the government and the Greek people toward refugees and migrants,” the sources said.
“However much some people might like to downplay, if possible, the significance of the U.S. President’s visit, the reality is that this visit gives active support for Greece and is at the same time an event of global reach,” they said.
“Unfortunately, the main opposition chooses to adopt such an attitude. It would be pettiness if it were not, in reality, another incidence of blind opposition that invests only in chaos and disaster. ND does not want the failure of the government but of the country. It wants to provoke destabilization, the derailing of the program and the failure of the negotiations on the debt. Its strategy is to implement a harsh austerity program that it wants to blame on the present government. This is the 4th memorandum that it seeks to implement, offering it in exchange for the settlement of Greece’s debt,” the sources added.
New Democracy says SYRIZA should recognize significance of Obama’s visit to Athens
New Democracy said the country will welcome U.S. President Barack Obama to Athens next week and called on SYRIZA to also recognize the significance of the visit, after governing sources said it would be wrong to underestimate the importance of Obama’s last official trip abroad as president.
“We welcome the President of the United States, Barack Obama, to Greece and we’d like to welcome SYRIZA to the world of reason, but with such statements it’s impossible,” the party said.
ND leader Mitsotakis congratulates U.S. President-elect Donald Trump
New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis send a congratulatory letter to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on November 8, noting the historic bonds of friendship between the two countries based on the principles of freedom and democracy.
He also expressed his certainty that bilateral relations will continue to develop to the benefit of both peoples.
Behind the Scenes: President Obama visits the Acropolis in Athens, Greece
Published November 17, 2016 at www.whitehouse.gov by Jazmin Kay, an intern in the Office of Digital Strategy.
PHOTO CAPTION: President Barack Obama visits the Erechtheion, a temple dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon, during a tour of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, Nov. 16, 2016. Dr. Eleni Banou, Director, Ephorate of Antiquities for Athens, Ministry of Culture, leads the tour. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Email the author: The Hellenic Journal