Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou expressed his absolute satisfaction over the results of his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday afternoon, since not only did he find understanding regarding proposals on the joint handling of profiteers, but secured the visa waiver for Greek citizens visiting the United States as well which, as the prime minister said, President Obama decided on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters, Papandreou termed the visa waiver “a vote of confidence” to Greece and noted that the Greek government is determined to respond to its obligations and cooperate closely at international level on the tackling of terrorism.
“I briefed President Obama on the state of the economy in our country and on the determination that we showed in taking difficult measures,” Papandreou said, underlining that with the institutional changes being promoted by his government not only in the economy but in other sectors also such as education, health and public administration the country is entering a course of sustainable growth and is becoming competitive and attractive.
The Greek prime minister stressed that he briefed the US president on his and other European leaders’s initiative such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarcozy and eurozone president Jean Claude Juncker that aims at confronting profiteers and restoring Greece’s image in international markets.
Papandreou called on the US to contribute to a common direction with the European countries at the next G20 summit. The Greek prime minister said that the US president reassured him that he considers this initiative useful and positive and that the US will move in the same direction so that “order is put in the international markets.”
The prime minister made it clear that Greece did not request economic aid from the US and termed “every voice of support positive,” particularly when it comes from the biggest economy and the strongest country in the world politically, while speaking of “recognition of the difficult measures that we are taking.”
Papandreou also said that apart from the economy, he discussed with President Obama Greece’s initiative for the accession of all the countries of the western Balkans to the European Union by 2014, a development that he characterised as being stabilising for peace in the wider region and the solving of specific bilateral problems. As regards relations with Turkey, Papandreou briefed the US president on the visit to Athens by Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan in the coming months, as well as on the will of the Greek side to revive the procedure on the normalisation of Greek-Turkish relations and the solving of differences, such as the case of the continental shelf.