Ben Rhodes: President Obama ‘ll be able to express support for the sacrifices that the Greek people have made and debt relief
Athens.- (GreekNewsOnline, ANA-MPA)
There is no connection between the hand grenade against the French Embassy in Athens and the Pnyka area where Obama was supposed to speak before it was cancelled by the US team that is already in Athens, Alternate Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Toskas on Saturday said in a press briefing on the measures to be taken ahead of the US President’s visit.
Toskas said that the security measures ahead of Obama’s visit on Tuesday will be finalised late on Monday. However, the police will not take strict measures, but reasonable ones.
“They will not be extreme measures, but the necessary ones for the protection of a visitor like the US President,” he underlined.
Referring to the scheduled protests, he said that it is a democratic right, but “those who want to protest against Obama’s visit, can do so in areas that the US President will not move,” and concluded:
“This visit will benefit the country, therefore we must ensure a safe environment.”
THE WHITE HOUSE
U.S. President Barack Obama is in full accord with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that the Greek debt is not sustainable and must be settled, a White House spokesman said on Friday, adding that the President will ask for debt relief during his visit to Athens.
According to a report by ERT correspondent to Washington DC Lena Argiri, the spokesman said Obama recognizes the sacrifices of the Greek people and his visit will send a message of support.
He will also “praise the government on the reforms” implemented and “stress that there’s still work to be done.”
And this is the President’s first trip to Greece. This will be the final state visit of the administration. He has long wanted to travel to Greece, given the deeply rooted U.S.-Greek friendship and partnership and our shared commitment to economic stability and prosperity, the work we do together to combat terrorism and extremism, the cooperation we have through the NATO alliance, and of course, the democratic values we share, which are deeply rooted in Greek history.
National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, briefing the journalists during a teleconference on Friday, said that over the course of the administration, one of the principal challenges for President Obama had been recovering from the global financial crisis that was such an emergency when he took office in the United States and around the world.
“Part of that work after we climbed out of our economic hole was helping to support the Europeans as they dealt with some significant structural issues, including the Greeks, who had to make some very difficult decisions even as they were working with other members of the Euro Zone to resolve some of the structural challenges. And so, again, this is an issue that President Obama personally spent a lot of work on throughout the course of his presidency.”
Ben Rhodes said that Obama ‘ll be able to express support for the sacrifices that the Greek people have made to balance their budget and reform their economy.
“I think he’ll want to praise the important progress that they’ve made over the course of the past year as the Greek parliament has passed that will make their economy more competitive. We recognize there’s more to be done. The IMF has said that they believe it’s crucial to put Greece’s economy on a sustainable path and set the stage for a return to lasting prosperity. And we believe Greece will succeed if it stays focused on opening itself up for business with these ongoing structural reforms — privatization, transparency, and cleanup of the financial sector.”
The National Security Advisor added that Greece’s creditors must ensure that Greece is well-placed to move beyond its cycle of crisis so they can return to robust economic growth. And that includes through meaningful debt release.
“And we will continue to support these efforts as we have over the course of President Obama’s time in office.”
Obama will arrive on Tuesday morning, on November 15th. He will have a courtesy call with the President of Greece, followed by a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Tsipris. The two leaders are expected to address together the press. In the evening the President will be hosted at a state dinner in Greece to celebrate the Greek-American friendship and alliance.
On Wednesday, November 16th, the President will tour the Parthenon.
“He certainly wants to see and experience the history in Athens that is at the root of so many of the democratic values that has fueled the growth and success of Western nations and people all over the world”, Rhodes said.
In the afternoon he will speak at the “Niarchos Cultural Center” and he will focus on the important work that’s been done to try to address the economic challenges in Greece and Europe and around the world.
“I think you’ll see him hit very similar themes to what he discussed at the U.N. General Assembly about the need to recognize the challenges presented by globalization which are manifested in many recent elections, including our own, but to take approaches that continue to invest in democratic governance, open markets but efforts to promote more inclusive growth and combat inequality. So he’ll have an opportunity to discuss some of the issues that have been a theme of his presidency and certainly his work together with the Europeans.”
CALL FOR DEMONSTRATIONS
Communist KKE party in an announcement on Saturday called on the workers, the youth and the entire Greek population to “welcome” the outgoing US President Barack Obama with rallies and protests.
According to the announcement, Obama is visiting the country at a time when the aggressive plans of US-NATO-EU are intensifying in our region, with the active involvement of Greece and with huge risks for the Greek people and other peoples of the region.
“The SYRIZA-ANEL government is exposed to the Greek people because it is paving red carpets to welcome the leader of an imperialist power, which is responsible for wars, interventions, civilian deaths and successive waves of refugees, but also because it mocks, saying that the Obama visit can allegedly bring benefits for the Greek people, such as an American intervention to resolve the Greek debt, but the reality is different,” it added.