Just days away from a crucial election, Hillary Clinton becomes the first of the two major party candidates to release official positions on issues of importance to Greek Americans. In her campaign’s position paper, which was released on November 4, Clinton mentions her record with Greece and Greek Americans during her time as First Lady, a U.S. Senator, and as Secretary of State.
According to her statement:
“As First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State, Hillary regularly engaged with leaders of the Greek Orthodox Church. She visited the Ecumenical Patriarchate three times, highlighting its importance: once as First Lady in 1996, again in 1999 when she returned with President Bill Clinton – the first sitting US President ever to visit – and again in 2011 as Secretary of State. Hillary is a long-time advocate of religious freedom. And she was proud to represent the vibrant Greek American community in New York as Senator.”
Her statement continued on her record as Secretary of State:
“As Secretary of State, Hillary visited Greece in 2011 and signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen collaboration and reduce looting and trafficking of Greek antiquities, and provide for their return to Greece to preserve its cultural heritage. During this visit, she also reinforced the U.S.-Greece partnership in the NATO alliance and reiterated the U.S.’s support of the Greek government to make the necessary reforms to put Greece back on sound financial footing.”
What does she promise if elected President?
“As President,” the statement reads, “Hillary will continue to fight for issues that are important to the Greek American Community” and goes on to list numerous points including her commitment to strengthening NATO and recognizing the important role Greece plays in the alliance, and to the United States.
“Hillary knows that the world is too complex and too complicated for the U.S. to go it alone. Greece is a historic friend and ally of the United States, and the bilateral relationship is critical in promoting regional stability and security, trade and investment, and the diversification of energy resources for Europe. Hillary recognizes Greece’s important role as a NATO ally. Greece hosts the U.S. Naval Support Activity at Souda Bay in Crete, whose deep protected harbor provides a strategically important location for supporting U.S. and allied military activities in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. As President, Hillary will ensure that we support Greece and work together on important issues such as climate change, fighting terrorism, and economic security. Above all, this is an alliance of values, rooted in a deep commitment to liberty and democracy.”
The position paper also mentioned that Clinton would support debt relief for Greece, a position long-argued by the Greek government as the only viable path forward for the country’s economy, which has been in a severe depression for several years.
“The economic crisis that struck Greece in 2009 caused its economy to contract by about 25 percent and, resulted in dramatic increases in unemployment and poverty. Hillary supports Greece’s efforts to restore fiscal stability, implement structural reforms, recover competitiveness and restart growth. And she strongly believes that the Eurozone should continue to take the necessary steps to keep its monetary union intact. Hillary will continue to support efforts by Greece and its creditors to find solutions for Greece to meet its financial obligations, while providing a path forward for economic recovery through debt relief.”
Clinton also acknowledge the role the people of Greece have played in helping refugees and called them “an example to Europe and the world,” and praising their generosity and compassion.
“Hillary recognizes the tremendous efforts made by the Greek people to offer humanitarian aid and assistance to the hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants who have entered the country since 2015. The generosity and compassion they have demonstrated set an important example for Europe and the world. Hillary will continue to call for a more robust international response to the European migration crisis. She will also ensure the U.S. maintains its role as the largest donor of humanitarian assistance to displaced persons and refugees.”
Finally, Clinton called for a solution to the four-decades-long Cyprus conflict and continued illegal Turkish occupation of the northern third of the island— a long-standing issue that numerous Presidents prior have attempted– but failed to solve.
“Hillary strongly supports efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement to reunify Cyprus as a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation. She supports Cypriot-led, UN-facilitated negotiations as the best process to achieve a fair and lasting settlement. Hillary views Cyprus as a strategic partner of the United States, and she values our close cooperation with Cyprus and the European Union in advancing our shared transatlantic priorities.”
Editor’s note: We have asked for a position paper on Greek issues numerous times from the campaign of the Republican candidate, Mr. Donald Trump. Our requests have gone unanswered. As soon as we receive them, we will provide the same coverage to the Trump campaign’s positions.