Monday , April 22 2024
Home / News / Politics / Speech in Athens: Obama praises Democracy, Sacrifices of Greeks

Speech in Athens: Obama praises Democracy, Sacrifices of Greeks

US President Barack Obama started his speech with “Yias sas!”, “Kalispera!” and “Filoxenia”(hospitality). He used other Greek words like “foustanella”, “spanakopita” and “ouzo” At the end of his 40-minute long speech he said “Zήτω η Ελλάς” (Long Live, Greece) and had Greeks cheer.

President Obama speech without teleprompter or notes was a hymn and praise to Democracy. To democracy and demos, the state, the citizen, the municipality. Among others he said that it is not important who is President or Prime Minister, the most important in a democracy is the citizen.”

“Power and progress will always come from the demos, from we the people.”

Obama said amount others people deserve the right to choose their governments and leaders.

“Democracy can be especially complicated. Believe me. I know,” Obama said. “But it is better than the alternatives because it allows us to peacefully work through our differences and move closer to our ideals.”

He said a system where people choose their leaders is naturally self-correcting, allowing citizens opportunities to change course if a party or system isn’t working.
“It allows us to correct for mistakes,” he said. “Any action by a president or any result of an election or any legislation that has proven flawed can be corrected through the process of democracy.”

Obama stressed that democracy will prevail amid challenges around the globe.

“The world doesn’t appreciate or aware of the tremendous sacrifices Greeks have made.”

“Greece needs debt relief because people need hope.”

He praised reforms and with regards to Greek debt, Obama said IMF is right,  Greek debt needs to be made sustainable so that young people can have a future in their own country.

It is important for young people in particular to understand that progress follows a winding path, Obama said.

“The IMF has said that debt relief will be crucial to get Greece back to growth. They are right. It is important because if reforms here are to be sustained, people here need to see hope and they need to see progress.

Young people, in particular, needed to know there is a future, there is an education, and jobs that were worthy of their potential.

You don’t have to travel overseas, you can put roots right here in your home, in Greece, and succeed. And I am confident that if you stay the course, as hard as it has been, Greece will see brighter days.”

Barack Obama showed that he has a good knowledge of Greek culture, and made a special reference to Greek “filotimo.”

The White House Verified account ‏@WhiteHouse
“I still believe there’s more of what Greeks call philotimo—love and respect and kindness for family and community and country” —@POTUS

He stressed that he will continue to urge creditors to take the steps needed to put Greece on a path towards sustained economic recovery.

Obama speech – in English

“Thanks to the Greek people for the friendship and the partnership that has made both our countries stronger.”

“As long as we are true to democratic system of government, our futures will be bright. Ζήτω η Ελλάς!”

Obama left for the airport where PM Tsipras waved him Goodbye.


“Everyday there are men & women who choose hope over fear. I have been inspired by them.”

PS and we’re left behind full of hope that the 500-euro average wages will rise because as Obama said “it’s not possible the a CEO earns per day the annual income of a worker” and he added “we need to give workers more leverage & better wages. Businesses do better when more people have money to spend.”

IMHO, Obama’s speech was a bit too academic for my taste. But maybe it was good for an outgoing President. if i am not wrong he had managed to raise, hourly salaries in USA, not?

Check Also

SYRIZA removes EU candidate over comments on abused women

SYRIZA leader Stefanos Kasselakis has removed a journalist and TV panelist from the party’s list …


  1. “a bit too academic”? well, the next american president won’t make that kind of speech, thats for sure. You’ll see, when and if the guy discovers where Greece is in the map.

    • he will have first to find a map among his shares and bonds and equities etc

    • Trump knows that Greece is next door to that important country called Turkey, and has to be reminded how unimportant it is (or else ignored).

  2. Obama comes to Greece and in KTG comments section I only hear….crickets. Either everybody that usually comments here is busy or does not care what he said.
    Crickets, I like crickets. They remind me of summer.

    • Why should we care what a lame duck president says? Obama came to have a nice free holiday, and inconvenienced the residents of Athens massively, and also at great cost.

    • roads are blocked due to Obama convoy, now he is gone, they will say something.

  3. The devastation of the country under the German occupation of 2010 also carries the US seal of approval. Let us remember that it is the IMF recipes that escalated the recession and that the attack at the Greek bonds in 2009 did start in the US.