Restart of The Greek Economy; the Contribution of The USA to The Economic Development And Stability of The Eastern Macedonia And Thrace Region.
Athens, Greece, Tuesday, 01 November 2022
By Angelos C. Tsigkopoulos, Publisher, The Decision Maker
History of USA – Greece Relations
The Central Front was the centre of U.S. strategic consideration in Europe during the Cold War. Consequently, the Balkans and southern Europe were regarded as secondary regions. The end of the Cold War altered the nature and focal point of American strategic priorities. The Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean currently represent the greatest challenges to American interests in Europe.
Thereafter, in this U.S. policy shift, Greece has been a strategic focal point. Historical ties between the two countries date back in the mid-1800s.
Following Greece's independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1837, the United States assigned its first consul in the country. The two countries later established diplomatic ties in 1868. As part of the Marshall Plan following World War II, the United States provided hundreds of millions of dollars to restore Greece's infrastructure, industry, and agriculture. Three million American citizens currently live in the country and claim Greek ancestry. This sizable, well-run neighbourhood has strong political and cultural links with Greece. Numerous U.S. agencies are housed at the U.S. embassies in Athens and Thessaloniki to support an active bilateral agenda.
In December 2018, the United States and Greece began a Strategic Dialogue that focuses on people-to-people relations, commerce and investment, energy, law enforcement and counterterrorism, and regional cooperation. Greece, a regional leader and longstanding North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ally, has been a crucial ally of the United States in fostering regional security, stability, and economic growth, paving the way for the western Balkans to join the EU, and assisting in the diversification of Europe's energy sources.
Greece is a key partner of the USA in promoting growth and communication in the Eastern Mediterranean due to its geostrategic location and participation in multilateral diplomatic initiatives like the "3+1" with the Republic of Cyprus, Israel, and the United States.
(Source: U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece)
The U.S. – Greece relations reached its peak on 17 May 2022, when the Prime Minister of The Hellenic Republic, Kyriakos Mitsotakis addressed the US Congress, following the invitation by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, along with the bi-partisan leadership of both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
Strategic Partnership Today
In practice, the above excellent relations were ratified by a number of strategic agreements between USA and Greece. In the midst of the Russian invasion of Ukraine since February 2022, the Alexandroupolis bypass has proven to be a reliable alternative to the closed Bosphorus Straits, a fact evidenced by the thousands of US and other troops, tanks, helicopters and other equipment of NATO states that were quickly and efficiently transferred to NATO's eastern flank.
In the context of upgrading the capabilities of Alexandroupolis, the US has already proposed to Athens, through various channels, but mainly senior military officials, the further dredging of the port and the expansion, possibly even the creation of a new pier. It is therefore evident that the port of Alexandroupolis is in the process of being transformed into another strategic point similar to the one in Souda, Crete.
The aim is initially to be able to dock and service from the port destroyers of the size and capabilities of the US Navy's "Arleigh Burke" class. These destroyers are the tip of the US naval spearhead, as they carry guided missiles and have highly enhanced electronic warfare (and therefore jamming) capabilities.
The Turnaround of The Greek Economy
According to Eurostat and the European Commission, in Greece, overall, GDP is expected to expand by 5.2% and 3.6% in 2022 and 2023, respectively, while Growth in 2022 and 2023 is likely to be driven by public and private investment, as the Recovery and Resilience Plan's initiatives are expected to continue to roll out.
Over the predicted horizon, expenditures covered by RRF grants are expected to total 3.6 percent of 2019 GDP, according to the forecast. Job support measures are expected to continue assisting employment in vulnerable sectors, while the recovery of the economy is set to accelerate job creation. The unemployment rate is forecast to continue its decline to 15.0% and 14.5% in 2022 and 2023 respectively.
According to Enterprise Greece, Greece welcomed a remarkable rise in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of 90.2% in 2021.
Compared to €2.8 billion (€2,813 million) in 2020, the Bank of Greece estimates that net foreign direct investment inflows to Greece increased to more than €5.3 billion (€5,350 million) in 2021.
This is a new record (the greatest net influx of FDI since 2002), demonstrating both the Greek economy's promising future and the effectiveness of the nation's attempts to draw in international capital. In addition, net FDI inflows in 2018 were 19.3% greater than in 2019—the year before the COVID pandemic—which was also a record year for Greece, bringing in more than €4 billion (€4,484 million) in FDI.
The Contribution of The USA to The Economic Development And Stability of The Eastern Macedonia And Thrace Region; the Conference.
Given the discussed strategic cooperation between USA and Greece and the investment initiatives of the former in the Greek region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, the contribution of the USA to the economic development and stability of the mentioned region will be highlighted during the relevant two-day conference, to be held in Komotini, Greece on Saturday and Sunday, 5 and 6 November 2022.
The conference is organized by DigiNom and AHEPA, “ORFEUS”, HJ-20 Komotini Chapter and Saint Andrew Chapter, HJ25. It will take place at the Komotini Music Hall.
This is the second of a series of conferences of the International Initiative, "Restart of The Greek Economy", led by its chairman Mr Dimitrios Moutousis. The series began with a conference in February 2022, in Athens, Grand Bretagne hotel and enjoys global recognition. The relevant Press Release appears on Associated Press, Bloomberg terminals and 4,000 newsrooms, globally.
It is under the Auspices of the Hellenic Ministry of Development & Investment, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of the Environment & Energy, the Ministry of Rural Development & Food the Ministry of Immigration & Asylum, the Secretariat of International Economic Affairs & General Secretariat of Public Diplomacy & Greek Diaspora of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Hellenic-Indian Chamber of Commerce, the Hellenic – Italian Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Chamber of Greece and of other State and Semi State entities.