Thursday, November 18, 1999

Clinton shortens visit to Greece

Anti-American demonstrations against current U.S. foreign policy.

By P. D. Spyropoulos

NEW YORK - President Clinton's scheduled visit to Greece on Friday may be sharply curtailed according to a White House spokesperson, as 10,000 Greek protesters marched in front of the U.S. Embassy, many carrying banners branding Clinton a murderer in the wake of recent U.S. bombing of Yugoslavia.

Greece has been at the forefront of humanitarian efforts to help refugees as it took in more Albanian refugees from Kosovo than any other EU country, 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 the Clinton administration's 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 consistently opposed 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 US 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.

[Editor's Note: P. D. Spyropoulos is Executive Director of the American Hellenic Media Project in New York, the e-mail address is ].

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