Former U.S. Ambassador to Greece Daniel Speckhard in a February 22 letter to the New York Times calls
for the United States to take a more active role in pressuring Europe to be more flexible in its dealings with Greece.
“If we don’t we are likely to pay in many other ways for years to come,” the former ambassador writes.
“The Greeks have reached their limit,” he says, and the agreement reached last week “will not change the underlying fundamental difference between the Greek voters, who demand an end to harsh budget and tax policies, and German and other European voters, who are tired of footing the bill for a bailout.”
As a Grexit remains a possibility, Speckhard explains that “the United States should be concerned that Europe’s leaders think that they can weather a Greek exit. This is a false sense of security. Spurning Greece would push it to a more radical and nationalistic stance — with potential implications for a broad range of European Union issues.
“Greece could become a real obstacle to crafting a united American-E.U. approach to a host of international challenges, including Ukraine, Iran, Syria and Afghanistan, and create problems for cooperation on counterterrorism, trade and commercial issues more generally.”