WASHINGTON - United States Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey R. Pyatt traveled to Washington, D.C. with a strong group of Greek investors from Athens to discuss the ever-improving relationship between the United States and Greece.
The discussion took place at Atlantic Council Headquarters as apart of the the Atlantic Council's Future Europe Initiative with a partnership with American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and the Athens Exchange Group. One of the focal points of the discussion is the stunning turnaround of Greek popular opinion in regards to Greece's increasingly close relations to the United States. After decades of Greeks' general uneasiness with the United States, particularly after the fall of the military junta in 1974, the United States, according to a recent poll done by Kapa Research is preferred by 73% as the partner that Greeks prefer to move forward with and finally leave the economic depression of the last decade behind.
Ambassador Pyatt heads a delegation of Greek businesspeople with George Chouliarakis, Greece's Alternate Minister of Finance. Another key speaker of the forum, that is moderated by Atlantic Council Nonresident Senior Fellow Katerina Sokou, American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce President, Simos Anastasopoulos.
A notable point of the conversation occurred when Ms. Sokou breached the conversation of the continuity of improving US-Greek relations even in the event of a leadership change following the July 7th Greek national snap elections where New Democracy's Kyriakos Mitsotakis is widely expected to become Greece's next Prime Minister.
Specifically Ms. Sokou said, "Ambassador Pyatt we are seeing an improvement of the bilateral relations of Greece and the US during your time in Athens and likely one of the best US-Europe relationships right now. Do you expect this to continue after the snap elections that have been called for on July 7th, if New Democracy comes to power, as is projected, and I am asking that, bearing into account that New Democracy presents itself as the party that traditionally has been pro-Western, pro-European in its approach to these issues but also because they didn’t support the Presses Agreement. Do you expect them to abide by the agreement when they come to power? And what can the US do to help normalize relations between Greece and Northern Macedonia while keeping mind Greece is a pillar of stability?"
Ambassador Pyatt responded, " Thanks Katerina, there are a lot of questions loaded up there and I will let party president Mitsotakis of New Democracy speak for their own party’s positions. That being said, to answer your most important question, I have absolute confidence in the positive trajectory of the US- Greece relationship and I have no doubt at all that, that will continue and accelerate in the event that the Greek people select Mr. Mitsotakis as the next Prime Minister. I say that in part based on the conversation that we had just a few days ago, last Thursday, and I think the statement that New Democracy issued after that meeting reaffirmed the party’s strong commitment to the strategic dialogue and the relationship with the United States. So that part I don’t worry about at all."
Mr. Mitsotakis' New Democracy party has made it a priority to emphasize foreign investment in Greece as a stimulus to the economy and foster robust job growth ahead of the July 7th general election.