News / USA

US Offers Full US Support for Greek Economic Recovery Plan

Greek Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinidis , left, and US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speak on Sunday July 17, 2011 during a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens
Greek Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinidis , left, and US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speak on Sunday July 17, 2011 during a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens



Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the United States “unequivocally” supports the economic recovery plan of Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou. Clinton held talks with top Greek officials in Athens in advance of a critical European meeting Thursday on a second financial bailout for Greece.

The United States will have no role in the bailout decision, to be made by the 17 key “Eurozone” countries of the European Union.

But Clinton delivered a strong message of political backing, saying she was pleased to be in Athens in what she termed “challenging times” to demonstrate the United States’ “unequivocally strong support” for NATO ally Greece.

The Secretary of State said the Papandreou government’s new round of austerity measures and tax hikes are strong medicine and difficult therapy for Greek citizens, but said the United States has every confidence of an eventual economic rebound.

“I have faith in the resilience of the Greek people. And I applaud the Greek government on its willingness to take these difficult steps. Greece has inspired the world before and I have every confidence that you are doing so again. And as you do what you must to bring your economy back to health, you will have the full support of the United States,” said the US top diplomat.

Clinton spoke at a press event with Greek Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinidis, newly installed after the recent Greek Cabinet shakeup.

Speaking through an interpreter, he said that while many on both sides of the Atlantic have “bet on the collapse of Greece” the Papandreou government will prove them wrong.

“Despite the doomsayers, we are proceeding and we shall come out of this victorious. Of course we have no magic solutions. But there is no question the sacrifices that the Greek people have made have not only done away with the very real past risk of default, but will create a sound basis for recovery.”

The Greek foreign minister said his country needs not only U.S. but European solidarity, a message he said was lost on some E.U. member states in recent months.

A senior U.S. official said while not diminishing the severity of Greece’s problems, that country represents only about three percent of the E.U. economy, and the Greek problem is not of a magnitude the European Union cannot deal with.

Clinton’s talks here also focused on the Middle East political turmoil, Balkan stability, Greek-Turkish relations, and Cyprus.

Clinton said Saturday the United States would like to see a Cyprus settlement before the island state is to assume the E.U. presidency for the first time next year.

The Greek foreign minister said he thinks progress is possible, but that it mainly requires political will on the part of the Turkish government.

Cyprus has been divided along ethnic lines since 1974 when Turkish troops occupied the northern third of the island in response to a coup in Nicosia aimed at a union with Greece.

The senior U.S. official said he is encouraged by the fact that Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders have held more than 80 face-to-face meetings during the past two years. He said they are “close” to an agreement, but that being close is not sufficient.

You May Like

US, China Have Dueling Definitions of Cybersecurity

Analysts say attribution or or proving that a particular individual or government is responsible for a hack, is a daunting task More

Snowden: I'd Go to Prison to Return to US

Former NSA contractor says he has not received a formal plea-deal offer from US officials, who consider him to be a traitor More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making a Minti
October 07, 2015 4:17 AM
While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video Self-Driving Cars Getting Closer

We are at the dawn of the robotic car age and should start getting used to seeing self-driving cars, at least on highways. Car and truck manufacturers are now running a tight race to see who will be the first to hit the street, while some taxicab companies are already planning to upgrade their fleets. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Clinton Seeks to Boost Image Before Upcoming Debate

The five announced Democratic party presidential contenders meet in their first debate next Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton continues to lead the Democratic field, but she is getting a stronger-than-expected challenge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

Video Music Brings Generations Together

When musicians over the age of 50 headline a rock concert, you expect to see baby boomer fans in the audience. Boomer rock stars have boomer fans. Millennial rock stars have millennial fans. But this isn’t always the case. Take the Lockn’ Music festival which took place in mid-September in rural Arrington, Virginia. Here, Jacquelyn de Phillips discovered two generations of people who are considered quite different in the outside world, spending 4 days together in music-loving harmony.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video South Carolina Reels Under Worst-ever Flooding

South Carolina is reeling from the worst flooding in recorded history that forced residents from their homes and left thousands without drinking water and electricity. Parts of the state, including the capital, Columbia, received about 60 centimeters of rain in just a couple of days. Authorities warn that the end of rain does not mean the end of danger, as it will take days for the water to recede. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs