New York.- President Barack Obama will meet with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in Washington DC on August 8, according to the PM’s office Thursday. In an announcement, Samaras’ office said the agenda include bilateral, regional and international issues.
Meanwhile a statement by the White House Press Secretary on the visit said:
“On Thursday, August 8, President Obama will welcome Prime Minister Antonis Samaras of the Hellenic Republic to the White House.
“The visit will highlight the strength of the U.S.-Greek relationship today – bound together through enduring ties of kinship, common interests, and the NATO Alliance – and underscore the United States’ ongoing support for Greece’s efforts to reform its economy and promote a return to prosperity.
“The President also looks forward to discussing with the Prime Minister a broad array of mutual interests and challenges, including U.S.-Greek defense cooperation, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, regional cooperation, mutual counterterrorism efforts, prospects for a settlement in Cyprus, developments in North Africa, and Syria.”
The overall course of Greece’s economy is not doubted by anyone, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras tells an interview with the Proto Thema newspaper, underlining European Union leaders’ commitment for further assistance to Greece if the country achieves a primary surplus.
The premier outright denies that new austerity measures are to be taken in September, as predicted “generally” by some. “We will just keep rejecting them,” he notes.
Samaras says his is still fighting for VAT reduction in the food and restaurant business (from 23 pct to 13 pct), adding however that the luxury tax is being introduced one year earlier to avoid cuts in military officers’ salaries and pensions, as well as imposing a 0.2% pct tax on companies.
Further, the PM stresses that taxpayers’ money should be well spent, and not just to pay back for favours to the State through illegitimate recruits. “My priority is the 1.5 million unemployed… seen by most as a mere statistical number.”
As far as his August 8 meeting with US President Barak Obama is concerned, Samaras said that “the right time for such an important trip is now,” as the climate on the economy has been reversed. “This is an opportunity to go a step or several steps ahead.”