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USS Enterprise in Piraeus: Wellcome, American Dollar!

The very first American nuclear powered aircraft carrier “Enterprise” anchored off shore of Palaio Faliro, south of Athens, on Wednesday morning. The USS Entreprise, the longest naval vessel of the world, is on its last deployment after 53 successful years on duty. With more than 4,000 crew members the ship resembles a small city. In “tourism” terms, the arrival of USS “Enterprise” equals the arrival of at least two big cruise liners. Which translates into revenues flow in many enterprises. Thousands of sailors are eager to go on shore, visit Acropolis and spend money giving a helping hand to debt-ridden country.

No wonder some older Greeks got a sudden flash back this morning upon hearing the news. Many were reminded of the times when the 6th American Fleet used to pay regular visits to Greece in the 60’s boosting the economy.

In times of recession and lack of €uro-flow, many Greeks are about to chant again “Welcome, American Dollar!”

“Film  «Καλώς ήλθε το δολλάριο» (Welcome dollar)  was released in 1967 by the director of many popular films of the fifties and the sixties, Alekos Sakellarios. Nonetheless, particularly this film was boycotted by the Greek public, because this year an extreme right dictatorship was established in Greece, which had the overt support of the then US government (Nixon & Kissinger).
The film isn’t actually praising USA, more than it’s currency, with which sailors of the American Navy who were visiting Greece, within the bounds of exercises, were “providing” Greek businesses in Athens, Piraeus or elsewhere, including cabarets and other other places of less good reputation…” (source)

Video (Film excerpt): Learning English…

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 USS Enterprise  will remain in anchored off shore of Palaio Faliro for three days and then will head to the Straits of Hormuz, where it will be on standby in case of conflict with Iran or piracy threats off Somalia, among other things.

The Entrprise visits Greece after 49 years. A visit that will be remembered as well…

For more information about the last voyage of USS Enterprise  see NPR. Film “Top Gun” was filmed on board the USS Enterprise…

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7 comments

  1. When I saw the headline a thought crossed my mind briefly: “They are coming to evacuate the politicians and their dependants…” And I remembered the pictures of helicopters being pushed of the ships deck to make more room for all the evacuees. Also pictures from ‘last helicopter left from the roof of the embassy’ flashed through my mind.
    Then I woke from my daydream.
    (Must be a great sight to see it in the water off Palaio Faliro. Which I was there to take some photos)

  2. I think it’s nice that our US military guys are paying a visit to Athens. I hope the Greek Filotimo and hospitality is there! Of course, there are always drunk sailors that can occasionally ruin it for the rest, but keep that in mind that many militaries get drunk, not only the US.

    Long Live Greek-American relations!