US Vice President Joe Biden brought a message full of hope and solidarity to the debt-ridden Greeks. ” We stand beside you in solidarity, we are ready to help you in any way we can,” Biden told Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos at a joint press conference in Athens. Stressing that the US recognizes the sacrifices of Greek people, Biden ‘predicted’ that with the application of harsh condition imposed by the IMF and the EU, “with hard work and some luck in a year from now, not only you will have overcome the crisis but you will better off, in a strong position.”
US Vice President expressed the overwhelming the interest of the United States that “Greece work its way through this financial crisis and that it remains a strong and vital part of the European Union.”
However Greece’s ally did not go publicly into details as to how this help to Athens will materialize. And quite a number of Greek media were left with the question: Does the USA offer some concrete help or is it just a moral support between friends?
On his part, PM Lucas Papademos underlined that “Greece and the USA have long and close friendship relations, based on common values and common struggle for freedom and democracy. At this critical economic context that goes beyond the Greek and European borders, the support of USA to Greece has been important, coherent and consistent” Papademos told Biden.
After the common statements, the two official senjoyed a working lunch in company of the multi-numbered delegation accompanying Joe Biden. I’m sure the one or the other conrete proposals were made in the context of future energy and natural research surveys in the Aegean Sea…
The US Vice President met with Greek President Karolos Papoulias and former PM George Papandreou as leader of coalition government partner PASOK, and Antonis Samaras from Nea Dimokratia. However Biden will not meet the third coalition partner, far-right LAOS and its leader Giorgos Karatzaferis. Greek media claim that Joe Biden vehemently refused to meet with far-right leader Karatzaferis after pressures from the Jewish organizations denouncing as ‘anti-semitic’ some of LAOS’ positions.
High on the agenda of the talks were the economic crisis, the Greek-American and the Greek-Turkish relations, the Cyprus issue.
Joe Biden arrived last night in Athens after a two days visit in Turkey, where he urged Ankara to open the Greek Orthodox Theological School of Chalki. Joe Biden will depart Greece in the afternoon.
The visit of US Vice President had set on alert the Greek police who put some 500 policemen on the security of the American official.
PS I’ll let you know more about Biden’s talks here as soon as some information will be leaked to the Greek press.