Former US President Barack Obama spoke in Athens on Thursday on the sidelines of the SNF Nostos Conference 2023, held at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) in coastal southern Athens, as he arrived several days ago in Greece accompanied by Michelle Obama.
The former US first couple first vacationed in the Cyclades islands, in the central Aegean, with one destination being the isle of Antiparos. This week he visited the Acropolis archaeological site in central Athens and the adjacent Acropolis Museum.
Among other unofficial contacts, Obama met with incumbent Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, as well as the latter’s main political rival ahead of Sunday’s general election in the country, Alexis Tsipras.
Taking to his Twitter account, Mitsotakis, whose center-right New Democracy (ND) party is leading in all opinion polls, noted that it was “…a true pleasure to speak with @barackobama in Athens. Our shared values, resonating perhaps a bit more here, the birthplace of democracy, were the common thread in our discussion on the very real challenges our societies and youth face. I look forward to welcoming him again soon.”
On Wednesday evening, the former US president and Senator from Illinois met with local interns of the Obama Foundation Leaders initiative at a downtown Athens hotel.
After his meeting with Obama, Tsipras said he thanked the US leader for “supporting Greece in tough times in the past”, while touching on issues of broad inequality, tax-evasion by large multinationals, and the importance of resolving differences among countries peacefully via diplomacy.