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Politics

N.Y. Greek Society Chief Says Diaspora Still Bullish on Greece

February 19, 2017

NEW YORK – Despite being burned already, Diaspora Greeks still want to invest in Greece, the head of the Federation of Greek Societies of Greater New York said.

Petros Galotoulas told the newspaper Vradyni, however, that luring money again from the Diaspora depends on the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA-led government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras cutting the bureaucracy and providing a stable and legal tax system, promises made and not kept by a succession of administrations.

Buyers of Greek bonds, including many in the Diaspora, took losses of 74 percent imposed by a previous government in 2011 under then-Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos and have been reluctant to return, with some losing their life’s savings and arguments to get the money back rejected by Greek courts who said the government had the right to take their money and ignore bond buying guidelines.

Galatoulas also defended US President Donald Trump’s hardline policy on immigration, a stance ironically opposed in some ways to the terms that let Greek-Americans into the country generations ago.

He said Trump, who he supports, sees in Greece a steady and reliable ally. Speaking on the issue of Greek debt relief, Galatoulas said that any decisions rest with European lenders, not with Washington, where the International Monetary Fund, one of its chief international creditors, is demanding more austerity in return for assistance.

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