Professor Obama Salutes Greece, Democracy in Athens “Globalization” Speech

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/11/16/remarks-president-obama-stavros-niarchos-foundation-cultural-center


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President (and today Professor of Government) Barack Obama concluded his Greece visit with an inspiring speech November 16 at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, a new venue chosen to replace the historic Pnyx Hill near the Acropolis (which he visited Wednesday morning). Venue change notwithstanding, it was an inspiring and broad defense of Democracy as the best form of government mankind has ever devised. In a speech filled with memorable quotes, he reminded the world that in democracies, “The most important title is citizen.”

Hailing the Greek people for their resilience during the economic crisis, and their unwavering support of refugees these past years, Obama promised as well continued US support for Greece’s reform efforts and insisted the US saw debt relief as a part of that program.

There are dozens of quotes New Europe readers will be seeing across the Twittersphere. Here are but a few we have compiled as Obama now heads for Berlin, the next stop in his three-capital tour across two continents:

On Greece:
“I came here with gratitude for all that Greece – this small great world – has given humanity through the ages.”
“You will continue to have the core support of the United States, and at the same time I will continue to urge creditors to take the steps needed to put Greece on a path towards sustained economic recovery.”
“We cannot simply look to austerity as a strategy and it is incredibly important that the Greek people see improvements in their daily lives so that they can carry with them the hope that their lives will get better.”
“As Greece continues to implement reforms, the IMF has said that debt relief will be crucial to get Greece back to growth. They are right.”

On Democracy/Globalization:
“Through all this history, the flame first lit here in Athens never died.”
“Progress has to be earned by every generation.”
“Democracy can be especially complicated. Believe me. I know, but it is better than the alternatives because it allows us to peacefully work through our differences and move closer to our ideals.”
“It allows us to correct for mistakes, any action by a president or any result of an election or any legislation that has proven flawed can be corrected through the process of democracy.”
“We are going to have to guard against a rise of a crude sense of nationalism or ethnic identity or tribalism that is built around an “us” or a “them.”
“Inequality now constitutes one of the greatest challenges to our economies and to our democracies.”
“The current path of globalization demands a course correction.”
On American foreign policy:
“I am confident that just as America’s commitment to the transatlantic alliance has endured, whether under a Democratic or a Republican administration, that commitment will continue. Including our pledge and our treaty obligation to defend every ally.”
“Today’s NATO – the world’s greatest alliance – is as strong and ready as it has ever been.”

Readers can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKirW7AQ2oo

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