US Ambassador Pyatt Says Tsipras’ Chance to Turn Greece Around

ATHENS – America’s Ambassador to Greece said it’s now up to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to stick to reforms pledged as part of a third bailout deal and save the country’s economy.

Geoffrey Pyatt, in an interview with the newspaper To Vima, said that, “Prime Minister Tsipras now has an opportunity to form a new narrative […]. Provided the procedure will go ahead and the next disbursement will take place, it’s going to be smooth sailing for Greece for about two years,” showing optimism for recovery although most analysts don’t.

“The interest of the United States is to see Greece, a NATO ally and member of the Eurozone, emerge from the seven-year cycle of economic crisis and follow a path of sustainable development,” he said, adding that the U.S. is very pleased about the news of a deal between Greece and the European institutions.

“I am optimistic that we will now see a will see rapid progress towards the Eurogroup on May 22 that will authorize the disbursement of the next tranche,” he added, referring to more monies being released from the rescue package of 86 billion euros ($94.39 billion) that came with orders for more pension cuts and taxing low-income families.

Pyatt also said he will travel to the United States in June with Economy and Development Minister Dimitri Papadimitriou to “describe the opportunities I see for expanded commercial relations and investments”.

Concerning relations with Turkey, he said Greek and American interests converge on the view that the country must remain anchored to Europe.

“I am impressed by my talks with high-ranking Greek officials following the Turkish referendum, for the emphasis they have placed on keeping Turkey anchored to European institutions,” he said.

“We want a democratic Turkey, which will respect the criteria of European governance and will be stable. We encourage keeping the channels of communication between Athens and Ankara open,” he added.

On May 5, he met Chios Mayor Manolis Vournous during a visit to the eastern Aegean island, one of several near near the Turkish coast which are overrun with some 14,000 refugees and migrants. There are another 50,000 on the mainland.

The two men reportedly discussed the impact of the migration crisis on the local community and the economy of the island, which depends heavily on tourist income.

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