Time: 3:00 p.m. CEST
Before leaving Athens and heading to Germany for a meeting with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, President Barack Obama talked at the Stavros Niachros Foundation Cultural Center in Greece about democracy and globalization. Obama talked about the world, which is more and more connected and that those networks create fears of shaken economies and use of technology endangers some job positions.
“This impulse to pull back globalized world is understandable, people feeling that they are loosing control of the future; they push back. We have seen it here in Greece, across Europe, we have seen in the United States, we have saw in the vote in Britain to leave EU,” Obama said in Athens.
Obama said that in a globalized world and economy, the future jobs would differ than those in the past. “We cannot look backward, we can look forward,” Obama pointed out.
Obama praised the role of Greece in dealing with refugee crisis, and that as a democracy the country showed necessary help to those of need. Obama cited a woman of Greece who said, “We live in the same sun, we fall in love under the same moon, we are all human, we have to help to this people. Women like that gave me hope.”
Obama, who is leaving the office after eight years as the president on January 20, 2016, promised further help to Greece, as being proud his administration help to Greece. “To stay competitive Greece has to start a reform process, the world not fully appreciate the extraordinary pain these reforms have involved or the tremendous sacrifice you the Greek people have made,” Obama said.
The President promised he would urge creditors to take steps needed to “put Greece on the path toward sustained economic recovery.” As Greece moves forward to implement reforms, “the IMF said that debt-relief would be crucial to get Greece back to growth. They are right. If the reforms here sustained, people need to see hope, progress,” Obama addressed the audience.
Obama who visited ancient cultural sites in Athens in the morning, closed for the general public during his visit, pointed out that, after eight years being president of the United States, “having traveled around the globe, it is true that every country travels its own path, every country has its own traditions.” Obama praised “fundamental desire to have control of our lives and our future,” and said that “those yearnings are universal; they burn in every human heart.”
In all of our capitals, we need to make governments more open, more efficient, more effective in responding to the daily need of citizens
Obama praised the future of NATO, as enduring alliance for the western world.