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PM Samaras meets U.S. Department of Treasury Secretary Lew

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Sunday met visiting U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew at the Acropolis Museum. After the meeting, the Greek premier made the following statements:

"It is my great pleasure to welcome today the US Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew. I welcome him here in Athens, the birthplace of Democracy, underneath the Acropolis, the eternal symbol of Free Spirit and Aesthetic Perfection. The Acropolis symbolizes through the ages the quest of mankind to liberate itself from fear and tyranny and to attain harmony and prosperity.

These are exactly the core values aspired by the American Nation, carved in stone in its Constitution and deep rooted in the spirit of its people.

Greece has gone through difficult moments in the last three years. But it has gone a long way in the last 12 months. The image of Greece abroad has changed.

Both within and beyond Europe.

My imminent visit to President Obama at the White House will further strengthen our ties with our American allies.

We have always been very close friends as demonstrated by the strong and flourishing Greek American Community.

We now have to keep on building on this solid background.

Τhe discussion we just had with the Secretary was focused on the obvious challenges of our times: growth and stability.

--Stability, based on justice, to attain long term peace in our turbulent region.

-- And growth, based on stability and competitiveness, to attain our most important goal: jobs, opportunities and prosperity.

Jack Lew, welcome to Greece."

The following statements were then made by the U.S. Treasury Secretary:

"I would like to thank Prime Minister Samaras for his gracious hospitality in Athens. I also enjoyed meeting with Finance Minister Stournaras.

This is my third trip to Europe as Treasury Secretary, and I welcome the opportunity to hear directly from our Greek friends, because Greece has had a tough road to recovery over the last few years.

We have been following developments here closely, and we know that Greece has passed through a very difficult period of adjustment and reform. We recognize the difficult decisions and shared sacrifices of the last few years, as well as the challenges that remain.

I am particularly pleased to see that your government is close to completing the current program review and taking the difficult actions necessary to sustain momentum for your economic reforms.

Of course, the road ahead is still challenging. Continued reform will be essential to laying the foundation for sustained growth.

The U.S. economy is now recovering from its own financial crisis - where we had to take tough actions to stabilize our system.

We know you are working hard to set Greece on a path of sustainable growth and prosperity for the generations to come. After all that Greece has accomplished, I know that you don't want to leave this important work unfinished.

Engagement with Europe remains at the top of my agenda, because U.S. jobs and growth are inextricably linked to Europe achieving growth and prosperity. Moreover, growth in Europe and Asia is critical to the world economy. As you know, I was just in Moscow, where finance ministers and labour ministers sat side by side and reiterated their commitment to boost growth and improve prospects for job creation - a key focus for the road ahead.

I am delighted to be here and to be able to talk directly with you and to hear about your plans for moving forward."

Source: Athens News Agency

Last Updated Monday, 22 July 2013
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