President Trump, in his short but very comprehensive statements after the meeting immediately after the end of the meeting and the working dinner with Prime Minister Tsipras, send the bill to Greece for the F-16 upgrade which amounts to 2,4 billion dollars.
The US President said that through the upgrading, many jobs will be created in the US, which is very positive for its economy. This hid the obvious fact that the upgrades will not be undertaken by the Hellenic Aerospace Industry, which also needed the injection of much needed cash and jobs.
Before the official statements of the American President and the Greek Prime Minister, Mr Trump turned to Mr. Tsipras and said, “It seems you are having a tremendous progress…tremendous!”
“We welcomed Mr Tsipras from Greece to the White House. A special person who has achieved something very special,” said the US president, adding: “Greece and America have a common commitment to sovereignty and freedom. We had an extremely constructive debate on energy, defense, trade.”
“We have confidence in Greece, it is a place with tremendous potential,” Mr Trump said.
“I would like to thank the Greek Prime Minister and the Greeks for hosting US naval forces at the Souda Bay base. And I congratulate them because, as I am informed, they spend 2% of their defense spending budget”, said the president of the United States.
“Americans stand next to the Greeks, recovering from the economic crisis. Greece is currently providing ideal opportunities for investment”, the US president continued.
“I am very proud that the US will be the honored country in the Thessaloniki International Fair next year – it is a great opportunity for US companies to show their potential,” Mr Trump said.
Taking the floor after the US president, Alexis Tsipras described the talks as constructive talks. “We have common values. Our relationship is based on an extremely dynamic Greek community, which offers too much in both countries,” the Prime Minister underlined.
“Today, Greek-American relations are the best point ever,” said Mr. Tsipras.
“Greece emerges from the crisis and is beginning to attract investors,” the Prime Minister noted.
“Greece is becoming the most important and stable pillar of security in a very sensitive area. We maintain dialogue with Turkey despite the difficulties and challenges. We are promoting cooperation schemes in the Middle East and the Balkans. Greece is gradually becoming a major transportation and energy hub”.
“We look forward to a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem without guarantors and occupying troops” was the Prime Minister’s reference on the Cyprus problem and Mr. Tsipras continued with a reference to the Turkish provocations: “Turkey’s dangerous offensive aeronautic activity in the Aegean Sea must be ended. Greece will always protect its sovereign rights.”
“We want Turkey to stay in NATO and we are in favor of its European perspective,” said Alexis Tsipras.
“We decided to set up a working group among the Ministers of Economy” Mr. Tsipras added.
But what made quite an impression was the trap-question to the Greek Prime Minister was made by the US journalist of the pro-Trump Fox News network, John Roberts, during the joint press conference with the US president.
The journalist, trying to make the Prime Minister publicly withdraw from an earlier statement, reminded him that before the presidential elections he said about Donald Trump that he hopes “this evil [Trump being elected President] won’t find us”.
Before Alexis Tsipras answered, Mr Trump intervened, making a grimace, and said jokingly, “I wish I knew that before my speech”.
In his answer, shortly thereafter, Alexis Tsipras said he did not feel “threatened” by Mr Trump during their meeting.
“We had an extremely fruitful meeting, I did not feel threatened, we can overcome any differences and work on our common goals”, was the gist of Prime Minister’s answer.