American Hellenic Institute


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Wall Street Journal Publishes AHI Letter
December 2, 1999 No. 41/99 (202) 785-8430

Wall Street Journal Publishes AHI Letter

On December 2, 1999 the Wall Street Journal published the following letter from Eugene T. Rossides, General Counsel, on the subject of Greece's relationship with the United States.

"In response to your November 23 editorial 'Greek Tragedy': Your implicit endorsement of the Turkish illegal invasion of Cyprus as a contribution to democracy takes 'spin' to a new low. Also you give the impression of having written without regard to what really happened during President Clinton's visit to Greece. The anti-Clinton demonstrations were orchestrated and attended by a tiny minority (less than 5,000 out of a total Athens population of some 4 million). Incidentally, the demonstrations never got near the American Embassy.

You also made the baseless charge that Greeks sympathize with the idea of a "Greater Serbia." Yes, many Greeks had substantive differences with the U.S. over Kosovo (so, it must be recalled, did the Wall Street Journal) but this did not detract one iota from Greece's participation in the NATO operation.

The source of the allegation about 'traditional Greek hostility toward Albanians' is a complete mystery. Has your writer no knowledge of the fact that in 1996 Greece and Italy led the international force that stabilized the anarchic situation in Albania in the wake of the collapse of the pyramid scams?

As for your reference to the need for Greece to overcome 'nationalist and statist shibboleths,' this is years out of date. Greece is now firmly part of the EU mainstream. In 2001 it will join the European Monetary Union (in advance of the UK); Greece is the site of the EU reconstruction headquarters for Kosovo; of all the countries in the region, Greece is the one stable democracy and prosperous economy. President Clinton described Greece as the 'powerhouse of Southeast Europe.'"