WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney released a letter on July 15 condemning what her office called “threats against Greek national security that were reportedly made during Greek debt negotiations between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and European Council President Donald Tusk.”
Maloney wrote in her letter: “As a Co-chair of the Congressional Hellenic Caucus, I strongly condemn the use of threats against Greek national security as a coercive tool in negotiations over Greece’s participation in the Eurozone.
“It is outrageous for anyone to suggest that Turkish aggression would go unchecked by the international community under any circumstances,” she said.
She added, “Regardless of the ultimate outcome of debt negotiations, Greece will continue to be an ally of significant strategic importance to both the United States and the European Union. Suggesting otherwise is Realpolitik in its worst form, and those making such suggestions should know better.”
Another letter she penned in support of Greece will be circulating in Congress, and Maloney told TNH that “Relations between Americans and Greeks are deeper than any currency.”
As background, Maloney’s office quoted the July 13 edition of the Washington Post: “The moves are fostering a deep sense of resentment among Tsipras’s allies and a conviction that Europeans sought to humiliate him. During a pivotal meeting with Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and European Council President Donald Tusk, Tsipras at one point received a thinly veiled threat that if he walked away and left the euro, Greece risked going it alone geopolitically, too.
“According to two officials in Brussels with knowledge of the exchange, the specter was raised of aggression from Turkey — a neighboring nation viewed in Greece as a historic antagonist.”
“These threat are unbelievable, Maloney told TNH. “Germany and other political leaders should not be making global political or military warnings and consequences for Greece. The United States will not allow Greece to become isolated. The threats are totally empty.”
Regarding the Greek financial crisis itself, Maloney she said believes, “The U.S. approach of balancing stimulus, improved regulations, and patience has yielded much better results than the five years of German austerity… I am concerned about the real societal burdens on the children and pensioners and Greek citizens.
She cited the example of then-President Bill Clinton’s response to the Mexican Peso crisis. “It proved very successful, and we were aiding our neighbors in economic distress, not using a punishing austerity.
Maloney also pointed out that what she called the hypocrisy of the EU and ECB, who “have repeatedly and insistently sought regulatory relief in the U.S. from reforms like Dodd-Frank we put in place,” after the 2007 Wall Street crash. “They should apply the same standards on leniency in dealings with Greece,” she insisted.
She said of Greece’s crushing debt that, “When the IMF acknowledges that Greece’s is economically unable to pay the debt load as currently structured, it needs to be restructured.”
Maloney added that, “The American government, and President Obama put a tremendous amount of pressure in these negotiations and was reported that the IMF debt analysis be made public, with a need not only to forgive debt but to restructure it.”