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A historical for Greece Welcome to President Obama

Posted by moodhacker on November 15, 2016 at 7:05 AM



Defense Minister Panos Kammenos and the US Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey Pyatt, were on the tarmac at the airport to greet Obama, who stepped off Air Force One onto a red carpet. About 100 members of a military honor guard were waiting, in navy and green uniforms, some with bayonets.

After the short talk at the airport   had while welcoming President Obama on behalf of the Greek governemet, Kammenos stated that US President Barack Obama’s visit to Greece constitutes a message that the debt-wracked nation is on its way out of the crisis,  speaking on the radio after returning from Athens International Airport,


Defense Minister Panos Kammenos thanked Obama on “behalf of the Greek people for helping Greece in difficult times.”


The defense minister said that the US president was extremely affable and “very happy to be in Greece.”


“[President Obama] said that it was his personal choice to visit our country, the country of democracy, in his words,” Kammenos said, adding that he expects the outgoing US president’s visit to “help [Greece] on many levels.”


Due to the Greek people big love to President  Obama, Greece’s leftist-led government sees the outgoing US president’s visit as an opportunity to regain popularity , and also gain the US President  public support on a range of issues, including its key demand for debt relief, the Cyprus peace talks and his endorsement of Greece’s role in the wider region.

The US President Obama visit in Greece schedule 

 President Barack Obama arrived in Greece Tuesday morning on the first stop of his final foreign tour as president, the first visit to Greece by a sitting U.S. president since Bill Clinton in 1999.


Air Force One touched down midmorning in Athens after an overnight flight from Washington. Security was tight, with major roads shut down along Obama's motorcade route and a ban on public gatherings and demonstrations in swathes of central Athens and a southern suburb near a seaside luxury hotel where Obama was staying. Boats were also banned from sailing near the coastline at the hotel's location.


More than 5,000 police were deployed in the capital's streets for the two-day visit. Left-wing and anarchist groups have planned protest demonstrations for Tuesday afternoon, while an armed anarchist group has called for "attacks and clashes" to disrupt Obama's visit. Clinton's visit, which came during the height of U.S. intervention in the wars ensuing from the breakup of Yugoslavia, was marked with extensive violent demonstrations.


While anti-American sentiment has been muted over the past few years in Greece, many in the country regard the U.S. with misgivings, a sentiment stemming mostly from America's backing of the military dictatorship that governed the country from 1967 to 1974. Obama's visit comes two days before the Nov. 17 anniversary of the junta's 1973 bloody crackdown on a student uprising, which is marked each year by a protest march to the U.S. Embassy that frequently turns violent.



Obama then headed to his hotel ahead of his first meeting with President Prokopis Pavlopoulos. He was then to hold talks with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, followed by a joint news conference. Pavlopoulos will host an official dinner for Obama at the presidential mansion in the evening.


On Wednesday, Obama is scheduled to tour the Acropolis and give a major speech about democracy and globalization before flying on to Berlin. From Germany, Obama will travel to Peru for an Asian economic summit before returning to Washington on Saturday.


Obama's trip will be dominated by questions and concerns about President-elect Donald Trump. Obama has been working to reassure foreign leaders the U.S. won't abandon its partnerships and alliance obligations despite Trump's tough campaign rhetoric.


the Greek government expectations  

Greece's government has hailed Obama's visit as being of "huge importance" for both Greece and Europe. The country's left-led coalition government has been struggling to pull Greece out of six years of a vicious financial crisis that has devastated its economy and left more than a quarter of the workforce unemployed. Despite the U.S. election, the government has pinned its hopes on the U.S. president to help persuade some of the country's more reluctant international creditors, such as Germany, to grant it significant debt relief.


Without a cut in its debt, Athens says, it cannot hope to recover economically — an argument also supported by the International Monetary Fund.


Greece has been relying on emergency loans from three consecutive multi-billion euro bailouts from other European Union countries using the euro currency, and the IMF, since 2010. While the United States has not been involved in Greece's bailout, Athens has long seen it as an ally that could apply pressure on creditors.


"The visit of President Obama is a clear message to all of us and to the rest of the world that we need to keep pursuing policies that create growth, employment and social cohesion," Nikos Pappas, a close associate of Tsipras who was named digital policy minister in a recent reshuffle, told the AP ahead of the visit. "We are very happy to see that in the recent years the U.S. administration has been on the same page as we are in terms of these policies and this direction. We expect this message is going to be reiterated."


The U.S. has praised Greek efforts to overhaul its economy but has repeatedly stressed the country must continue with painful reforms. The country's bailout funds are disbursed following reviews by international debt inspectors of mandated reforms

Categories: Greek Social Animal , Greece , Politics, Greece and the USA

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