Meeting with Bill Clinton in Athens
During the meeting, Primeminister Antonis Samaras mentioned:
«Mr. President, dear friends,
It is a great pleasure and an honor to welcome you all in Greece.
And what a suitable place, with so many Greek Americans and a great friend of Greece, literally at the shadow of the Parthenon, the most prominent monument of mankind that identifies with Freedom, Democracy and the ideals that make us all what we are and what we stand for.
But it is not History what I want to mention now. History is all around us. You just have to feel it.
Since the thirties, we know what we have to do for problems with economy, which is instigate recovery, jump start the economy and move ahead with sweeping reforms to bring back competitiveness for our country.
But I want to explain to you that Greece is now going through a crisis unprecedented in times of Peace.
I mentioned to you that we are already in the fifth year of a recession and all these bring about bitter memories of the Great Depression in the United States. This is exactly what we are going through in Greece. It is our version of the Great Depression.
And what we intend to do is exactly instigate recovery with the support of the Greek people as expressed in the fresh mandate it gave to our tri-party coalition government, which represents a very broad part of the Greek political spectrum.
We intend to do it with the support of our European partners with whom we share a common currency, common obligations and a common sense of solidarity, which is valuable to us.
And, of course, with the endless support of many prominent leaders from our vibrant communities of the Greek Diaspora, whose energies, initiatives and ideas, are always welcomed and always helpful, more than ever today.
We all know that in difficult times, Mr President, people need strong leadership and hope. We intend to provide both:
Strong leadership, meaning: decisiveness, fairness and sense of duty.
And hope, meaning that sacrifices are not in vain and, as I told you before, there should be light at the end of the tunnel, that everyone can see.
We know that it is not easy. But we are decided to succeed.
And let me say at this point, Mr. President, that you are a source of inspiration to us. Your initiative, the “Clinton Global Initiative” is universally recognized. Your values, your principles and your actions have significant influence world-wide. So we greet you here as a proven friend and also as global personality with whom we share common ideals.
I want to thank you for this initiative. We deeply appreciate your profound interest for Greece and your solid support to our efforts. We also deeply value our relations with your country, the United States of America and we are looking forward to enhance our ties, based on the principles of Freedom, Democracy and human rights. Those ideals, Mr President, were initiated in Greece about two and half millennia ago. The same ideals inspired the birth of the American Nation, and the rebirth of our Nation, about two centuries ago.
Our nations share so much from the past.
I am sure they will share even more in the future.
And I want to thank you Mr. President for being here with us, thank you all. We appreciate it».