Donald Trump’s Administration took a New Greek Twist

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Observers of U.S. foreign policy towards Greece and Cyprus and by extension the matter of religious freedom for the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople have breathed a sigh of relief with some recent news out of President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team.

Trump announced the appointment of Reince Preibus as his chief of staff– the most powerful position in the administration and the well-known “gate-keeper” to the President.

Preibus, whose mother Dimitra was born in Sudan to Greek parents, was raised Greek Orthodox and is said to have deep ties to the Greek side of his heritage.

The former head of the Republican National Committee who was instrumental during the contentious campaign in playing the role of mediator between a fiery candidate who distanced himself from establishment Republicans and long-time party politicians who clashed with the candidate could be in a perfect position to keep matters of importance to Greek Americans on the President’s agenda.

Preibus made headlines in Greece and Turkey in the middle of the contentious campaign and just a few weeks before Election Day when he took the time to send a congratulatory message to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on October 25th, on the occasion of his 25th anniversary since his enthronement.

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14 Comments

  1. Thanks for posting that. At least for me, a tiny silver lining in a dark cloud of an election. We should note however that the vice president elect has already said Turkey is our most important ally in the region and wants to further our ties.
    Priebus’ mom may not have the last word!

  2. George. Pence said the ‘diplomatic’ thing to a Turkish reporter. I wouldn’t read much into that. But, it is true that the USA have aligned with Turkey, this is partly Greece’s fault, as they ordered US military bases out of Greece. BUt, traditionally, US has cozied up with Turkey for geo-strategic reasons. Hopefully, Preibus, and Trumps own announcement that Turkey is buying/distributing ISIS oil and treating injured ISIS soldiers, will be enough to change direction.

    • Thank you. Let’s hope so. I’m looking forward to President Obama’s speech tomorrow in Athens against the backdrop of the Acropolis. I hope it helps.

    • For you Dak:Greece did not closed down the American Military Bases. Probably you remember the early 90s,when Andreas Papandreou was runnng for Presidend of Greece,and since the loss of a big part of Cyprus was taken so unfairly by the butchers,Greeks were in pain. He used that as a slogan:Out with the bases of death. It worked. They voted for him. The VERY next day,in the Parliamend he told the world that the American presence it is of value,number one for security of of the region,AND the money that the bases put in the Greek economy. Now sir,time came that USA decided to minimize the armed forces,and the bases here,and abroad. So yes,this is the reason Greece LOST the bases. Thank you.

      • There seems to be varying stories as to the US bases. Even though there may have been economical benefits, one of the stories, not to discount yours, is that the environment was politically not very welcoming.

      • Americans knew when they were not wanted in Greece, so don’t excuse Greece and Andreas Papandreou (who left his American wife about the same time for a Greek air stewardess). I know because we lived there from 1975 – 1989 and saw the Communist posters which were anti-US, anti-Kissinger, and saw protests outside the US bases, especially Ellenikon by Glyfáda.

        • And do Americans allow Greek bases in Florida?

          To be blunt, a fair chunk of Americans have hardly been pro-Greek. Since the early 70s they have essentially acted like enemies. Consider how they did nothing to oppose the Turkish military invasion of Cyprus. Also consider how today they ridiculously recognized Skopoians as “Macedonians” and virtually all downplay Skopians quick change into “ancient Macedonians” and irredentism.

          Don’t know if Trump is different. If he can tell the difference between Greek and Slavs. Whether he wants to protect western civilization or more interested in just taking about it (like American politicians for the last 40 years that cozied up with countries like Saudi Arabia.. home of 19 of the 9/11 bombers). Time shall tell.

          • Unless you know of plans for a trump hotel on the Acropolis, don’t count on and help from the new president. He’s only in this for himself.

    • Randall Peykoff on

      Something you should read You sound very angry about a lie that you believe to be true.
      I hope you can at least try to have an open mind and examine what you may find to be true although a hard pill to swallow for most Greeks that have beed taught hatred to their neighbors.
      Macedonians are peaceful loving people.

      I copied this from an article on the internet and I’m sure you can find many more like it.

      The ancient Macedonians used their own vernacular, Macedonian language. There are number of testimonials from the ancient historians in support of this fact. For instance, the Greek historian Plutarch (I AD), describing a quarrel between Alexander The Great and one of his friends wrote that Alexander “jumped on his feet and in Macedonian called on his shield-bearers”11)

      Sorry for the shocker but the fact are the facts

      The Greek politicians have brainwashed the whole of Greece into what you believe and are falsely restating Why do politicians do things like this? Of course for money and more land.
      My Grandfather came from Macedonia. Greece received southeast Macedonia in a deal that shrunk the size of MK last century They not only changed the names of the towns and people but made it illegal to speak Macedonian I visited my relatives a fews years ago and it is sad that there is so much division where one town speaks Macedonian and the next town less that 5 miles away speaks Greek and they don’t like each other. A prime example of divide and conquer. Oh, did I mention the 30,000 children that Greece stole from Macedonian homes and never returned Im sure they don’t teach that in Greek schools but of you want to know the truth you can research it for yourself.

      • Yeah, yeah Randall we all acknowledge that, no doubt. The only thing making your mind confused is the fact that Macedonians, whose history can be dated to some 2500 years ago (those of Philip II and Alexander the Great, with Vergina being the capital of the Macedonia kingdom) were Greek. You can go on calling yourself Macedonian, in that case you are identifying yourself as Greek of course, who you are not (and I am sure you believe you are not). Just like USAers liked to call themselves Americans, but we all know where they come from.
        There is nothing to do with politics and you don’t even need schools to teach anything for that, just pay a visit to the archaeological museum of Thessaloniki, where you can find countless inscriptions on ruins, coins, ceramics and other remains of the Macedonian kingdom. Read the letters on them (right on the items, not the descriptions if you think those are manipulated), and see yourself the characters and words of which language they use. Even better you can pay a visit to the tomb of Philip II in Vergina. Once you understand and truely submerge yourself to that antient time, there won’t be shock as you still think, there will be awe and gratitude.
        You are very welcome and will enjoy your days in Thessaloniki, just as every visitor

      • You were slavs and as such you came to the Balkans 200 years after christ.You are immediate relatives of the Bulgarians. The end

  3. that land was once Greek soil “or rocks” long before it was occupied by Turks,,, one day that land will belong to Greece again!

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