American Hellenic Institute


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AHI Examines State of Greece’s Economy, Impact on EU With Chief EU Envoy in Washington
March 23, 2010—No. 19 (202) 785-8430

AHI Examines State of Greece’s Economy, Impact on EU With Chief EU Envoy in Washington

Concepts of Responsibility, Solidarity Utilized by EU

Angelos PangratisWASHINGTON, DC—The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) examined the economic crisis in Greece and its impact on the European Union by hosting a forum that featured Ambassador Angelos Pangratis, who is the chargé d'affaires and acting head of the European Union Delegation in Washington on March 16, 2010.  The forum, titled “The Economic Crisis in Greece and Its Impact on the EU: Myth and Reality,” was held at The Capital Hilton, Washington, DC.

“The state of Greece’s economy has received widespread domestic and international media coverage,” said Executive Director Nick Larigakis.  “Ambassador Pangratis’ expertise on economics and his invaluable insight on how the European Union functions provided us with a helpful and enlightening perspective on a complex topic.”

In his presentation, Ambassador Pangratis offered two reasons why Greece’s economic case is important and has garnered global attention.

“Fiscal sustainability is an issue for developed countries around the globe,” Pangratis said, citing Greece as an example of what can happen to countries that are on a much larger scale than Greece.  Greece comprises only two percent of GDP of the European Union.  The acting head of EU’s delegation also offered that because Greece is part of the Eurozone that questions are raised about the stability of the Eurozone and the currency itself.

EU Reacts to Crises with Concepts of Responsibility, Solidarity

Ambassador Pangratis presented the European Union’s basic philosophy to address economic crises such as the case with Greece.  First the European Union stresses responsibility to its member states by encouraging them to take appropriate measures such as adopting mechanisms that include monitoring and peer reviews.  Secondly, if an EU member state encounters difficulty after demonstrating responsibility, then the necessary solidarity within the EU will become present.

“Greece has to find its path out of the crisis and others will help,” said Pangratis, who stated Greece is being helped by the mechanisms that are encouraged by the EU.

Ambassador Pangratis concluded his presentation by articulating a few positive aspects of the economic crisis, including the notion that there is a heightened awareness of the EU mechanisms in place to help and that the effectiveness of those mechanisms have been reinforced.

“I would argue that today the EU is in a much better position in its ability to deal with the challenge of financial sustainability,” said Pangratis in comparison to non-EU countries.

A thorough Q&A session followed the ambassador’s presentation.

A video of Ambassador Pangratis’ presentation is available for view by clicking here.

The American Hellenic Institute Foundation (AHIF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit tax-exempt educational and research organization.  The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) is a non-profit Greek American think-tank and public policy center that works to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus, and within the Greek American community.  ###


For additional information, please contact C. Franciscos Economides at (202) 785-8430 or at For general information about the activities of AHI, please see our Web site at