Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and former U.S. President Bill Clinton
Greek authorities have intensified security measures in order to assure the safety of former American president Bill Clinton during his visit in the Greek capital city
The former President is visiting Greece for the fourth time. After his first official visit as a president, in 2002 he attended a forum, organized by the "Andreas Papandreou" Foundation (ISTAME) on the island of Samos, in 2003 he participated in the 6th Simis Congress, organized by George Papandreou on the Island of Kos, and in 2007 he held a speech at the forum organized by the Capital Forum and The American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce.
At the negotiating table – investments
Today, before noon, Bill Clinton held a nearly half-an-hour face-to-face meeting with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras at Maximou residence. Then, the former U.S. president took part in a meeting attended by Prime Minister Samaras, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos, Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras and Minister of Regional Development Kostis Hadzidakis.
Later, Bill Clinton will speak at the Forum of the Greek and Greek-American business people, organized by the Hellenic Initiative. This is an initiative aimed at collecting nearly 100 million dollars in order to improve the business climate in Greece, inspired by the president of Dow Chemical, Andrew Liveris. The meeting will be attended by the well-known lawyer George Stamas and the president of Coca-Cola 3Ε in Greece, George David.
Greek police on the alert
Police forces have made every effort to avoid any possible demonstrations against the former U.S. president.
Although the Traffic Police claims that the only measures that will be taken by the authorities are to utilize the police in order to facilitate the corteges, according to sources, security forces and anti-terror force squads are on a war footing.
Bill Clinton is staying at the luxurious Grande Bretagne Hotel in Syntagma Square, around which draconian security measures have been taken. Security measures will continue until 4 p.m., when, according to the official programme, the former U.S. president will depart from Athens.
A visit to Cyprus
On Saturday afternoon, the former U.S. president gave a lecture at the European University of Cyprus on the theme of global economic crisis, in which he recommended that Brussels and Washington take measures for the growth and the creation of jobs.
As Clinton noted, he himself would tell Europe and the USA, that in order to find exit of the crisis, "in the short term growth, combined with the creation of new jobs, must be present."
In the long term, he added, order and fiscal discipline must exist.
Clinton also noted that economic insecurity has to be limited, because otherwise it affects economic development with all ensuing consequences. The former president stressed that if it depended on him, he would recommend that Washington and Brussels adopt strong ten-year budgets.
Regarding Cyprus, he said that the country should exploit the deposits of natural gas available in order to enhance its industry and tourism.
Next stop - the UK
After Greece, Bill Clinton will visit Britain, where he will speak in front of Greek immigrants and businessmen.
At the meeting, ideas to support charity organizations, working transparently and with proven results, will be discussed. The implementation of reforms needed in order for the Greek state to become more functional and effective, but more attractive for investments as well, will also be considered.