Tags: Donald Trump | Trump | Tsipras | debt crisis

Trump Likely to Discuss Debt Crisis With Greek Prime Minister Tsipras

Image: Trump Likely to Discuss Debt Crisis With Greek Prime Minister Tsipras

Greek Digital & Telecommunications Minister Nikos Pappas, right, replies to former U.S. Ambassador to Greece Damon Wilson at Atlantic Council forum September 15. (John Gizzi)

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Sunday, 17 September 2017 09:08 PM Current | Bio | Archive

With the White House privately dropping hints that Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will be hosted by President Trump before the end of the year, one of Tsipras' closest associates confirmed to Newsmax on Friday that a meeting between the two leaders was in the works.

"What we are working on is a visit that will have substance," Nikos Pappas, Greek minister of digital affairs and telecommunications, told us. "We will take the necessary steps to make things materialize."

Pappas, who spoke at the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C., Friday, is a past chief of staff to Tsipras. He is considered one of the closest figures to Tsipras in his official family, with his relationship to the prime minister likened to that of Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to Trump.

A Trump-Tsipras summit is sure to draw worldwide attention because the U.S. has yet to spell out whether it will maintain its current level of financial support for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) — roughly $113 billion, or 17 percent of the entire IMF resources.

Along with the European Central Bank and Eurogroup (the 19 members of the Eurozone that exercise control over the Euro currency), the IMF is one of the members of the troika — the three creditors who have provided loans to keep the Greek economy afloat since 2010.

In June, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin signaled the U.S. would continue to be the largest shareholder in the IMF.

"I've had the pleasure of meeting Christine [IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde] at least a dozen times," Mnuchin told Newsmax. "I think the IMF plays a very important role in looking at currency and world economies. The IMF was very helpful in regards to stabilizing the Greece [financial crisis] and working with Europe. I think that could have been a major problem this summer that would have had significant concerns to the markets and the economy, and I think she was a very important part of those negotiations."

With its debt to international creditors at about 323 billion euros, Greece is now showing strong signs of economic resurrection. Pappas pointed out that industrial production was up 6 percent in the first half of 2017, that investments in Greece were up 11.2 percent over 2016, and that unemployment dropped from 26.7 percent in June 2014 to 21.2 percent in June of this year.

He also told the Atlantic Council group that Greece's corporate tax — long considered a roadblock to recovery — would be lowered.

There is also interest in a Trump-Tsipras summit because of the similarities of the two leaders. Although both hail from opposite ends of the political spectrum, both are considered populists and political outsiders. Tsipras’ Syriza (Party of the Radical Left) was founded only 11 years before it won national elections in Greece and made Tsipras — a political outsider known for his refusal to wear a tie — prime minister.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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With the White House privately dropping hints that Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will be hosted by President Trump before the end of the year, one of Tsipras' closest associates confirmed to Newsmax on Friday that a meeting between the two leaders was in the...
Trump, Tsipras, debt crisis
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2017-08-17
Sunday, 17 September 2017 09:08 PM
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