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Hillary-Dora: Warm meeting, cold menu

26 February 2009 / 18:02:56  GRReporter
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The two on two meeting between the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyanni lasted for twenty minutes. “I am happy to greet a friend of mine from Washington, who not unknown neither in the city nor in the State Department,” with those words the hostess of the meeting accepted her Greek guest. Except for the twenty minute meeting, the two ladies with rich common background and with big future in politics continued the talks together with Mr. Matthew Bryza and Mr. Daniel Frid.

Hillary Clinton asked for expansion of the strategic cooperation between the two countries. Dora Bakoyanni has expressed her worry by the continuing provocative behavior of Turkey in the Aegean Sea and the American Secretary of State agreed to talk to Ankara about it. The Greek side also asked for the US visas for Greek citizens to be cancelled and Hillary Clinton promised to research the topic and to do whatever she can. The two ladies also exchanged some opinions about the unification of Cyprus but did not mention anything about the problem with Macedonia’s name. Greeks believe that this was the warmest welcome of a Greek Foreign Minister to the State Department.

But as everyone knows friendship is friendship but the feta costs money. One hour after the end of the Clinton-Bakoyanni meeting, the annual report of the State Department came out, which is for the human rights. In it, the part about Greece acted as a cold shower for Greek diplomacy and showed that the climate of Greek-American relations is far from clear blue skies. The report defines the behavior of the Greek police during the December riots as “defensive” and indirectly it is criticized by the US diplomacy and the accounted losses are for about ?1 billion. The report also stresses on the behavior of the Greek media, by accusing them that they did not presume the innocence of the policeman who shot the 16 year old Alexis Grigoropoulos before the court came out with a decision on the case.

The bad news about Greece do not end here. The report also talks about the widespread corruption in the country. Mentioned are: the Vatopedi monastery, the police corruption, the bead condition of Greek prisons and the hunger strike of the prisoners, the power misuse against illegal immigrants and the gypsies, the unacceptable life conditions for immigrants and refugees, about the problems of the non-orthodox religious communities. Quoted are cases of anti-Semitism during the crisis in Gaza not only from the side of the nationalistic media like “Elefterios Tipos” newspaper but also in established publications like “Ta Nea” and “Elefterotipia.”

Dora Bakoyani’s visit to the State Department ended with lunch given in her honor by the Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns.

Photo: EPA/Matthew Cavanaugh

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