NEWS

Joe Biden to address Concordia Summit in Athens in June

KATERINA SOKOU

TAGS: Conference, Business, Diplomacy

Former US vice president Joe Biden is due to visit Athens to address the Concordia Summit, an annual global affairs forum that will be held for the first time on European territory in the Greek capital, on June 6 and 7.

Biden is expected to talk about the future of the European Union, a political project seen tested by the lingering migration crisis, the rise of populist parties and Brexit.

Speaking to Kathimerini, Nicholas Logothetis, cofounder of the initiative, described former President Barack Obama’s number two as an “ideal” speaker for the Athens event, among other reasons for his long-standing support to Greece and Cyprus.

“The fact that he is visiting Greece in his first foreign trip as ex-vice president shows that the country is important to him,” Logothetis told the newspaper.

First held in 2011, the Concordia Summit takes place in New York parallel to the UN General Assembly. Logothetis and cofounder Matthew Swift are seeking to nurture partnerships between the public and private sectors in order to address global challenges such as migration and sustainable development in line with the UN’s 2030 agenda.

Speakers at the upcoming forum include Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios, former European Commission president and current non-executive chairman at Goldman Sachs International Jose Manuel Barroso and Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent.

Logothetis believes that debt-hit Greece has a lot to gain from the conference as it can help put the country more on the radar of foreign investors.

“We were thinking of organizing something in Greece that could mark our own contribution in dealing with the crisis – and now is the right time,” Logothetis said.

“I know that people tend to focus on the bad news, but we want to turn the spotlight on the positive aspect, because we know that there is a momentum and business opportunity in Greece,” he said.

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