Please find below:
(1) A letter from the American Hellenic Media Project as published in The Fresno Bee (CA) on Thursday, November 25, 1999.
Versions of this letter were also published in the Letters sections of the following newspapers:
New York Newsday - Monday, November 29, 1999
The Dallas Morning News (Cyberletters, dallasnews.com) - Monday, November 22, 1999
The Washington Times - Sunday, November 21, 1999
Another version was also published as an article in The Daily Republican - Thursday, November 18, 1999.
(2) A letter from activist Athanasia Gregoriades also published in The Washington Times on Sunday, November 21st; and
(3) A correction regarding item (1) above.
THE FRESNO BEE
CLINTON IN GREECE
THURSDAY, November 25, 1999
BYLINE: P.D. SPYROPOULOS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Memo: LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Your reports largely misconstrue the nature of protests that contributed to President Clinton's decision to shorten his visit to Greece.
Mischaracterizations of the protests as anti-American or as stemming from nationalist sentiments are based on outdated notions of a nation that has matured into among the most progressive, stabilizing and globally oriented members of the European Union.
Greece, for example, took in more Albanian refugees from Kosovo than any other EU country [see correction below]*, and the Greek government has taken a key leadership role in regional peace-making and peacekeeping initiatives using a sophisticated mix of economic and diplomatic incentives.
The same humanitarian concerns that underlay Greece's opposition to our bombing of Yugoslavia resulted in the outpouring of support by Greeks for the victims of Turkey's devastating August earthquake, ushering in the much-heralded seismic thaw in Greco-Turkish relations.
Greek sentiments have not been so much anti-American as anti-war, opposing an excessive and unnecessary use of force that targeted civilians and razed a neighboring country's infrastructure under the pretext of humanitarian intervention.
In the land where democracy was born, Greeks continue to share a deeply-held allegiance to America and its democratic vision for our world. Current Greek frustration with the United States stems from the fact that our foreign policy has increasingly served to undermine this vision for the sake of short-sighted, parochial and decidedly un-American agendas.
BY: P.D. SPYROPOULOS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
AMERICAN HELLENIC MEDIA PROJECT
NEW YORK, N.Y.
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Sunday, November 21, 1999
American media misrepresented purpose of demonstrations in Greece
The demonstrations in Athens are an indication that democracy is alive and doing well in Greece. In a democracy, the citizens of a country have the right and freedom to express their views without experiencing repression by the state.
Unlike its neighbor Turkey, Greece is allowing its people to express opposition to the policies they deem to be detrimental to the stability of the region. According to the International Action Center, Turkey, on the other hand, saw fit to arrest more than 100 peaceful demonstrators who were expressing disagreement with the policies of their government and President Clinton's administration.
Expressing opposition to certain policies does not necessarily mean that the people of Greece are anti-American. The protesters are against the continued occupation of Cyprus, and they also oppose the constant violation of Greece's territorial integrity in the Aegean by Turkey, a country that America supports without imposing any conditions related to international law and norms.
Curtailing protests that may seem embarrassing to government officials is not a way to solving underlying problems. Past experiences indicate contrary and negative results when repression is used. The outcome of repression is the creation of turmoil and instability and the eventual disintegration of the democratic institutions of a country.
* In reference to above item (1): Greece did not take in more Albanian refugees from Kosovo than any other EU country but established camps for the refugees in FYROM and Albania, and provided other substantial humanitarian relief. A correction notice was forwarded to all periodicals that published this submission.