American officials have disclosed to Kathimerini, Greece’s respected daily newspaper, that Barack Obama is preparing to deliver what they have called a “legacy speech” in Athens on November 15th.
Think the “tear down this wall,” speech by Ronald Reagan or John F. Kennedy’s famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech in Berlin in 1963.
In fact, one official who spoke to Kathimerini said that Obama’s speech will resemble Kennedy’s Berlin speech.
According to the disclosures from the White House, Obama is expected to make “extensive references to democracy and how it has endured in Greece despite its recent problems.”
Obama will also, according to the unnamed official, highlight the need for extensive debt relief for Greece— and carry a strong message for Turkey.
The White House has already revealed some information from an official announcement concerning the President’s trip to Greece— his last foreign trip as a U.S. President.
“In the birthplace of democracy, the President will also reaffirm the resilience of democratic values, which have done so much to deliver peace and prosperity to Europe and the wider world. Additionally, the President will make clear our appreciation for the remarkable generosity shown by the Greek Government and people to refugees and migrants.”
But if the Greek government is expecting any kind of direct intervention by Obama regarding its quest for debt relief from Eurozone debtors, that notion is off the table, according a response to a reporter’s question by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
“I can tell you the President is not traveling to Greece to go and negotiate some sort of new financial arrangement between Greece and the EU. I would anticipate that the President will spend some time on this trip complimenting the Greek government for the success that they have had in implementing the reforms that they committed to make. He will also encourage them to continue the path of reform that is good for the long-term economic and fiscal situation in Greece. And so that will certainly be an important part of that conversation the President will have there.”