US Ambassador Pyatt Speaks of “Gift of Athenian Democracy” on 4th of July Ceremony



United States Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey Pyatt, toasted “the 243rd anniversary of the United States of America, the foundational values we share, and the gift of Athenian democracy” during the Independence Day celebration at the embassy in Athens on Wednesday evening.

The reception included the national anthems of both countries performed by soprano Anastasia Zanni.

In a brief message, Pyatt referred to Greece’s upcoming bicentennial celebration in 2021, and recalled the U.S. bicentennial in 1976, celebrating “the values that our American founders had inherited from the ancient Athenians: democracy, rule of law, and the importance of an informed citizenry.”

Referring to the long and historic relations between the United States and Greece, the ambassador said that for 200 years Athenian ideals influenced American leaders while “the American Revolution inspired the Greek struggle for independence,” prompting philhellenes to join Greeks in arms.

“Almost 200 years later, I’m happy to report that the longstanding bonds of cooperation and friendship between our modern nations are stronger than ever,” he noted, and reiterated that “there’s broad consensus in Washington that Greece has become one of our most valued regional allies, a pillar of stability and a guardian of Western democratic ideals in a particularly challenging region.”

“The U.S. and Greece are… forever linked by shared democratic ideals,” he added.

Referring to Sunday’s general elections, he said that “Greece will elect its first government of the post-crisis era, demonstrating the resilience of your democratic values and institutions, even amid an economic downturn of unprecedented length and depth.”

The electoral result will not change the relationship of the two countries, Pyatt furthermore said. “I can assure you that whomever the people of Greece choose as your next leaders, the United States will remain fully committed to their success,” he stressed, raising a toast to both countries.

Among attendees at the event on the embassy grounds were Foreign Minister Giorgos Katrougalos, Defense Minister Evangelos Apostolakis, New Democracy Vice President Adonis Georgiadis, and Shadow Ministers Olga Kefaloyiannis, Giorgos Koumoutsakos.