NEWARK – Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, outraged over plans to to end the Voice of America’s Greek language service, issued the following statement:
“The longstanding relationship between the United States and Greece is built on a partnership that has promoted the mutual interests of both countries for years. That relationship, bound by deep political, cultural, economic and security ties has grown deeper with the free exchange of ideas and information made possible by programing from Voice of America’s Greek language service. Voice of America’s Greek language service has played a vital role in increasing understanding between our two countries and has promoted democratic values and free market ideas in Greece for decades.
“Upon learning of Voice of America’s plan to discontinue its Greek language service earlier this year, I expressed my opposition to the Broadcasting Board of Governors. With Greece emerging from an economic crisis that had profound social and political impact on the country, and with instability spreading in near-by regions, now is clearly not the time to end a service that allows us to communicate the best of our ideas and ideals to the Greek public.
“In this context, it is of the utmost importance that the U.S. Government and the American people have a forum to present our views about ongoing developments at home, in Greece and around the world. I am convinced that the platform best equipped to guarantee that free exchange of information between the United States and Greece is Voice of America’s Greek language service, a program I will do everything in my power to restore.”