The United States is fully committed to Greece’s success and this commitment will be confirmed by U.S. President Barack Obama during his visit to Athens in November, the U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt said on Thursday, during a visit to Thessaloniki. Pyatt, accompanied by U.S. Consul General Rebecca Fong, held a meeting with Deputy Minister for Macedonia-Thrace Maria Kollia-Tsarouha.
According to Kollia-Tsarouha, the ambassador said the European Union cannot be successful if Greece is not successful and expressed his satisfaction with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ and Defense Minister Panos Kammenos’ position on issues of regional security. He also reassured the minister that Greece constitutes a pillar of stability in a particularly important geographical region.
Pyatt also said the United States recognizes the great effort made by the Greeks to overcome the crisis and tackle the refugee issue and hailed the stance of ordinary people who gave what little they had to help those in need, overcoming xenophobia and extreme-right rhetoric.
On her side, the minister discussed the issue of debt relief for the country and said:
“I spoke with the ambassador as a representative of Macedonia and Thrace and as a Greek citizen. I stressed the burdens shouldered by the Greek people and their difficulties that derive from the high taxation imposed on them and the public debt. I stressed that we, as a country, are bearing the brunt of the refugee crisis, without having the infrastructure or the financial ability and with the refusal of many European Union countries for a joint management of the crisis.”
She went on to say that she also told the ambassador that some EU policies make this weight unbearable to Greeks and stressed the need to move quickly with debt relief and substantial assistance in helping the economy recover.