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AHI: Recent Administration Effort on Greece Appreciated, More Would Be Welcomed

The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) applauds the recent efforts of the Obama Administration to address Greece’s debt crisis, but would welcome more tangible actions.

“We appreciate the recent active participation of President Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew as evidenced by public statements this week,” AHI President Nick Larigakis said.  “However, we would also welcome more tangible acts from the administration through certain federal agencies that can offer financial aid packages or initiatives that would increase investment and growth in Greece. 

For example, in late April, President Larigakis wrote to the head of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), an “independent” government agency that provides financial products, such as loans or guaranties; or support for investment funds that help American businesses expand into foreign markets.

“AHI strongly believes that it is in the best interest of the U.S. for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to organize an Investment Mission to Greece at this time, an endeavor for which we hereby request your kind support,” Larigakis wrote in an April 30, 2015 letter to OPIC President, CEO and Board Chair Elizabeth L. Littlefield. 

In the letter, Larigakis noted that OPIC is able to do business in Greece, but OPIC has been mostly inactive in the country. Larigakis also notes that there is precedent for OPIC to operate its programs in EU countries when economic conditions and policy reasons support the need, citing OPIC’s work with Portugal and Malta along with Northern Ireland and other central European countries.

A copy of the letter along with a cover letter was sent to President Obama.

“An OPIC Investment Mission to Greece could be the catalyst Greece needs and send a strong message of support from the United States,” Larigakis said.