40 or so Greek-Americans were invited to take part in a meeting announced by Denis McDonough and other US government officials including the head of the Greece section of the National Security Agency, Caroline Atkinson. They are set to discuss the current situation in Greece with the members of the Greek Diaspora.
Among the guests will be James Tsanos, Phil Angelides, Eddie Zemenides, Alexandros Karloutsos, Eddie Maniatos, Angelo Tsakopoulos and many others, working in the government and as prominent members in the community. In the White House’s contacts with Greek-Americans on July 15, were looking for ideas on how to help Greece, with possible humanitarian aid, or militarily to cover needs, and bring in investments or technical help to push necessary changes forward.
The Greek-American invitees sent the message that with the bad management the EU had in Greece, the US will have to try to help their long-standing ally.
“This is the first of a series of discussions on the economic situation in the country and your thoughts on it will be critical in the process,” the invitation said.
In another action along the same lines, the White House is organizing a special forum on Greece, called the Hellenic Caucus, which will look at how help can be brought through various sectors of humanitarian aid, reforms and investment opportunities. They will invite various speakers to talk about the crisis on September 30. Co-presidents of the Caucus will be Gus Bilirakis and Carolyn Maloney. Sources said that it will be a three-day forum to inform the Congress and the government.
On Wednesday, July 29, 10 members of the Team on National issues called a meeting with the Ambassador of Greece, Christos Panagopoulos, who informed them on the latest developments in Greece. He told them about the Greek initiatives to bring the economy back to stages of development and face the crisis.
According to a statement by the Greek Embassy, there was significant interest from members of the Congress in the attempts being made by the Greek government to create the right conditions to restructure the country’s public debt and the process of the demanded changes. At the same time, they expressed interest in looking into the possibility of American investments in Greece.
Greece’s geopolitical importance in the Eastern Mediterranean and South-Eastern Europe region was also given special importance by US officials. The US and Greece have had traditional ties in relations that help deal with the situations in the Middle East, North Africa and the Eurasia region in general.
Members at the meeting were Gus Bilirakis ( R – FL ), Carolyn Maloney ( D – NY ), Rick Larsen ( D – WA ), Mario Diaz – Balart ( R – FL ), Virginia Foxx ( R – NC ), Dina Titus ( D – NV ), Steve Chabot ( R – OH ), Chuck Fleischmann ( R – TN ), Frank Pallone ( D – NJ ), Hank Johnson ( D – GA ).