|A man kisses the hand of US Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton on her arrival at Athens airport
© AFP Saul Loeb
ATHENS (AFP) – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton voiced support for crisis-wracked Greece during a visit to Athens on Sunday, saying: “We stand by the people and government of Greece”.
“The US strongly support the Papandreou government’s determination to make the necessary reforms to put Greece on a sound financial footing,” she added.
With her Greek counterpart Stavros Lambrinidis at her side, the US chief diplomat said the reforms undertaken by Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou were “acts of leadership (that) will help.”
Clinton is set to hold talks with several Greek officials, including Papandreou and Lambrinidis, although the US official reminded that Washington still views the Greek debt crisis as Europe’s problem to solve.
Late last month, the Greek government approved stinging new austerity measures despite riots and protests in a desperate bid to avoid national bankruptcy.
Athens’ debt has exploded to over 350 billion euros and market hostility has kept the struggling country from raising fresh loans, forcing European leaders to the drawing board once more for a new bailout.
Eurozone nations will hold an emergency summit on July 21 in Brussels on ways to tackle a debt crisis that is threatening to spread beyond Greece, Ireland and Portugal, which have already needed foreign loans to meet their debt obligations.
© AFP — Published at Activist Post with license