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Greeks will travel to the US without a visa

10 March 2010 / 15:03:06  GRReporter
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During the visit of Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou in the United States became clear that from now on all Greek citizens can visit the U.S. for a period of 30 days without having to wait for a visa. According to US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Greece was listed as a member of the Program on the Elimination of visa, which enhances the exchange of passenger information and confirms the strict criteria for safety. 

The text of the ministry mentions that Greece's entry in the list of another 35 countries, for which visas have already been removed, is progress in the bilateral relations between both countries. Henceforth, all Greeks will have to apply for authorization at the online Electronic Travel System and for up to 30 days they will be able to visit America without a visa. 

With the unofficial meeting of PM Georgios Papandreou with Barack Obama in the White House, which lasted longer than expected and discussed mostly economics, ended the meetings of the Greek prime minister in Washington. 

After the meeting, Mr. Papandreou said that President Obama was informed about the details of the plan, which have been compiled together with the President of France Nicolas Sharkozi and with Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, to restrict the actions of speculators. 

Since Tuesday morning, Mr. Papandreou succeeded ensuring political support, for which he asked the U.S. government. This support was publicly expressed by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. But the most significant development and indirect support came with the abolition of visa requirements for Greeks traveling to America. 

On the occasion of the visit of PM Papandreou in the U.S., let us remember some funny moments from the previous visits of Greek leaders in Washington. 

In December 1946, while a civil war was taking place in Greece, Konstantinos Tsaldaris had a meeting with U.S. President Harry Truman in order to seek for economic and military aid to avoid the collapse of the state. Three months later, Truman declared the dogma, which played an important role to end the civil war in Greece. 

The moment when Kostas Karamanlis arrived on a visit to America in 1961 coincided with the nuclear crisis, which caused such chaos in American diplomacy that the CIA Director Allen Dulles asked his assistant "Who is this Karamanlis guy?”. 

Georgios Papandreou is the third president to cross the threshold of the White House for talks with the then most powerful man on the planet - democratic president Lyndon Johnson. At that time there Turkish threats for the invasion of Cyprus. The visit is recorded in history as extremely unsuccessful as the Prime Minister did not accept the Acheson plan, while the U.S. president was convinced that the plan would be strongly adopted and he even invited Turkish Prime Minister Ismet Inonu. Equally unsuccessful was proved the attempt of the American to meet both Prime Ministers.

The perfect climate of the two and a half hours meeting between Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis and George Bush in 1990 ended with a friendly gesture by the President to the young back then deputy Dora Bakoyannis, to stand beside him in the picture in the rose garden. 

During his visit in January 2002 Costas Simitis gave President George Bush the new European coin "Euro" and T-shirt with the logo of the Olympic Games.

Tags: Obama Papandreou meeting Greece USA Economy
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