White House Plays Down U.S. President Obama’s Visit to Greece

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A White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Greece on November 15 is not linked to a new deal for Athens. “The president is not traveling to Greece to go and negotiate some sort of new financial arrangement between Greece and the EU,” he told reporters late on Wednesday.

Obama is expected to “spend some time on this trip complimenting the Greek government for the success that they have had in implementing the reforms that they committed to make” said the spokesman, making it clear that an intervention or the negotiation of some sort of new financial deal between Greece and the EU is not on the cards. Obama, however, will encourage Greece to continue “the path of reform that is good for the long-term economic and fiscal situation in Greece.”

No sooner was Obama’s visit to Greece announced than the local press began speculating on the reason for the visit, especially in light of the fact that Obama will head to Germany following his Greek meetings.

Earnest stressed the cultural ties that bind Greece and the U.S. as well as the economic relationship. Obama “is interested in underscoring all of that as he makes his own historic trip to Greece for the first time as president.”