Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras “is playing his last card” with his trip to Washington. The outcome of his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama will define how Greece will look like in the years to come as numbers of future generations are to be lost if the situation continues as is.
While in Washington, Samaras will also have a meeting with US Foreign Minister John Kerry, during which they will discuss the usual issues: Greek-Turkish relations, Cyprus, Skopje. This happened so that the agenda of the meeting between Obama – Samaras will focus on the single issue at hand, the Greek debt, thus getting the rest out of the way…
The meeting between the US President and the Prime Minister of Greece will be held behind closed doors. A sound decision provided that Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, who will accompany Samaras, is considered a “red flag” for the Americans given the leaks of the Press Office of the Greek Finance Ministry during the visit of U.S. Treasury Minister Jack Lew could were considered counterproductive. “The spin could have been better coming directly from the German Embassy” a US observer commented.
Greek government sources imply that the Prime Minister will ask Obama to put pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel to “better manage” the eurozone debt-whatever that may mean.
The Americans, however, are not expected to waste their influence for the sake of Greece; US officials after the Snowden scandal are not that popular.
Nevertheless, the US wants stability in Greece amid geopolitical upheaval in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. The US can help by redefining the Greek debt into matter of National Security. Better yet, if Washington wants to avoid acting alone the US Ambassador the UN can bring a resolution to the Security Council recommending measures in solving the Greek crisis (it would be interesting to anticipate Germany’s reaction). The US could even consider bringing in the G-20 or the G-8 countries. Greek debt must be set in the global agenda not merely as a financial problem but as a security problem and a threat to peace.
If Greece “falls”, no one can know the length of the “domino effect.” The Greek problem could work as the ground for the implementation of a “debt forgiveness” pilot program in a global political negotiation and the USA can help.
However Samaras has to decide whether he is willing to define the problem as such and ask for Obama’s help.
To this extent the announcement of an emergency G8 summit in Athens in October, focusing exclusively on the drastic impairment of the Greek debt in terms of stability and sustainability, would be a success for Samaras and go a very long way in ending the crisis. But for this to happen, Samaras must convince Obama that it is worth it.