Leaked emails from the anti-secrecy group Wikileaks show involvement by associates of both Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton in efforts to steer Greece clear from the possibility of Grexit at the height of the 2015 debt negotiations.
A leaked email exchange between close associates of Hillary Clinton and President Bill Clinton reveal the White House’s involvement in the Greek debt crisis negotiations that were taking place in 2015 between Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras and creditors from the Eurozone.
John Podesta— a Greek American and current chairman for Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Campaign emailed President Clinton’s private office noting that the White House had asked him about President Clinton’s relationship with Tsipras and whether it was “in the realm of possibility” to engage his help in convincing Tsipras to accept a deal from the Eurozone and ultimately avoid Greece’s exit from the Eurozone.
Podesta’s email to an associate at President Clinton’s office named Tina message read as follows:
i’m on a train and hard to talk by phone. White House asked me whether WJC had enough of a relationship with PM Tsipras to call him and counsel him to make a deal. Can you ask him whether that’s in the realm of possibility. If yes, I can talk to him after I’m off the train and explain their thinking and what they are hoping to accomplish. Thanks.
*WJC is a reference to William Jefferson Clinton, the initials of the former President.
The response from Clinton’s office was:
He says yes, but he’d need a lot more info than he has now. His immediate question is – are we pushing Merkle too? What time will you be available to talk?
*Merkel is German Chancellor Angela Merkel— obviously misspelled by the Clinton aid but a direct reference to whether there should be pressure on the German side, as well.
Tsipras and Merkel were the two lead players in the difficult negotiations in the summer of 2015 when Greece’s future in the Eurozone was being deliberated in the halls of power in Brussels over whether or not the country should accept harsh austerity in exchange for billions of dollars in bailout money.
The email exchange took place on July 10, 2015 at the height of negotiations in Brussels. The leaked Podesta email is here.
There was no further exchange in the leaked emails and it is not known if Clinton ever nudged Tsipras to accept the deal or not.
A few days after the exchange, the Greek-Eurozone debt deal was signed and Greece’s immediate future in the Eurozone group of nations was secured.
Coincidentally (or not?) a few months later, President Clinton invited Tsipras to a meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City that was described by many as “very pro-Greek” and exceedingly “anti-German,” where top experts spoke out against German-imposed austerity, calling it an “obsession” and creating a very environment for Greece in a room of top policymakers and businessmen.
Another leaked email between an associate of Hillary Clinton named Jake Sullivan and Amb. Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis, the former United States Ambassador to Hungary and a close associate of Hillary Clinton’s revealed that “HRC indicated her view that it would be best to avoid Grexit.”
Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis, who was in Greece at the time of her email exchange with Sullivan, forwarded an article in Foreign Policy Magazine by Admiral Jim Stavrides about the repercussions of a possible Grexit.
Sullivan, a top foreign policy advisor to the Clinton campaign responded that “HRC indicated her view that it would be best to avoid Grexit.”
HRC is obviously the initials of Hillary Rodham Clinton and the response by Sullivan points to Clinton’s direct support of Greece staying in the Eurozone.
The leaked Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis email to Sullivan is here.