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Editorial

Time to Transfer the U.S. Ambassador?

And who is not happy that Greek-American relations are going through one of the best periods in their history?

Of course, us Greek-Americans are happy. Both of our countries aligning their national interests and having the best possible bilateral relations can only count as positives.

Besides, the memories of the polarization – to a large extent artificial – that Andreas Papandreou cultivated against the U.S. almost purely for political reasons and which eventually hurt the interests of the Greek people – are fresh to many of us. The polarization certainly undermined, along with Washington’s anger over Athens’ apparent indifference to the crimes of November 17, Greece’s interests in Washington.

So, the last thing we want is to return to such harmful circumstances. For both sides.

I happily acknowledge that the Tsipras Government has made a significant contribution to improving the relations of the two countries – even though the policy of “give-them-everything-they-want” on some issues is not a policy one can agree with.

In addition, the Tsipras Government has also taken the anti-American card from the Greek Left. And that is another contribution.

Unfortunately, however, the American Ambassador in Athens, an intelligent and likable man, acts like a cheerleader for Mr. Tsipras, thus creating the conditions for a new difficult future in Greek-American relations, this time fueling the anger of Greece’s political right.

It is difficult to interpret this ambiguous behavior of the Ambassador as anything but reward for conveniences provided by Mr. Tsipras.

And this is not the first time the Ambassador is behaving this way. He does so during almost every difficult period when Mr. Tsipras faces criticism with regard to national issues.

But this interferes with the domestic politics of the country and violates a principle of international relations recognized for centuries – since 1648 when the Treaty of Westphalia enshrined the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.

In this case, the American Ambassador seems to be buttressing the standing of the Greek Prime Minister in the face of public outcry raised by his visit to Skopje.

He appears to be trying to silence Mr. Tsipras’ critics by tossing holy water on them, baptizing his journey by declaring, “The Prime Minister’s visit to Skopje gives hope to all Europe for the strengthening of relations among its people.”

What does this mean? Whose hat is he wearing? That of a political analyst or that of the protector of Mr. Tsipras?

So, hasn’t the time come for the good Ambassador to be moved to another post before he causes damage to relations between the two peoples?

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