Lambrinidis Addresses World Affairs Council

In an address on Monday to the World Affairs Council (WAC) in Los Angeles, Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinidis underlined the “immense effort” being made by the Greek people and his government’s determination to meet the targets that have been set for the country’s exit from the crisis.

Addressing the council, one of the most significant foreign policy think tanks on the US west coast, Lambrinidis outlined the immense effort being made by Greeks to deal with the crisis and the significant achievements that have been made recently, as well as the the government’s determination to fulfill the targets of its fiscal adjustment programme, and underlined the importance of the July 21 eurogroup decisions and need for their implementation.

In a discussion with the think tank’s members, Lambrinidis explained the reasons why, despite the EU’s important decisions and Greece’s achievements, the international markets continued to be reserved, noting that “the constant speculation” of default and exit from the euro disregards the real facts and Europe’s and Greece’s political determination to deal permanently with the crisis and, conversely, makes its management more difficult.

The foreign minister also paid tribute to the “wisdom and determination’ of the Greek people, despite the measures that have caused “unbelievable pain”, to tackle the crisis and remain in the single currency, adding that the “punishment rhetoric” must stop and the developmental proposals that have already been decided must be speedily advanced.

During his brief visit to Los Angeles, Lambrinidis had a 90-minute-meeting with the publisher and editorial staff of the Los Angeles Times, with the discussion focusing on the latest developments in the European and international economy, the major reforms in Greece and prospects for the country’s exiting the crisis, as well as matters concerning stability in the eastern Mediterranean.

Lambrinidis further met with representatives of the local Greek community, whom he briefed on the developments in Greece and the fight being waged by the Greek people and government, as well as ways in which their cooperation, in their fields of activity, with corresponding agencies in Greece may be enhanced or cultivated.