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Greek Ambassador Optimistic About Economy

Supporters of left-wing Syriza party react as they watch the election results at the party’s main electoral center in Athens, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015.

Greece’s Ambassador to the United States told VOA that the reelection of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will help stabilize the Greek economy.

Facing heavy social unrest and political instability, due to his acceptance of a bailout deal, Tsipras resigned in late August. But his reelection last month seemed to be a cue from of his left wing Syriza party that Tsipras can move forward with economic reforms and his new promise to fight corruption and tax evasion.

VOA’s Alexis Christoforous recently sat down with Greece’s Ambassador to the United States, Christos Panagopoulos, who said the re-election is “going to provide much needed political stability” and is the first step in stabilizing the economy.

The second step, he said, is utilizing Euro partners, IMF, and ECB bailout money - $95 billion according to The Economist – to meet the country’s needs over the next three years.

“I know the situation now is not very good around here,” he said, “but things are going to change and Greece is going to be there…we can turn around our economy, and I am confident about this.”

Panagopoulos acknowledged the ongoing migrant and refugee crisis presented an additional challenge for Greece.

“In the middle of this terrible economic crisis, we are called to face, at the forefront, one of the worst humanitarian crises on a global scale,” he said.

According to the International Order for Migration, over 380,000 migrants reached the shores of Greece in 2015. Most are from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Albania, and Iraq.

Panagopoulos said Greece is “a migrant nation” that wants to help.