Rounding off his trip to the US, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Friday described his meetings with entrepreneurs and officials in America as “excellent” and “very productive” during a speech at the Hellenic Initiative in Manhattan where speakers included former US President Bill Clinton.
The premier stressed that high unemployment remained his government’s chief concern, particularly among Greek youth where joblessness is above 60 percent, and that he remained focused on drawing investments and pursuing growth-oriented projects to boost investment.
Energy deposits off Greece’s coastline are fueling hopes for future growth projects and jobs, Samaras said, noting that he would be flying to Israel on Monday to discuss efforts by Greece, Israel and Cyprus to exploit energy resources in the region.
The premier also referred to an ongoing crackdown in Greece on the ultra-right Golden Dawn which has led to party leader Nikos Michaloliakos and his second-in-command Christos Pappas being remanded in custody. “We have crushed the neo-Nazis,” Samaras said, adding that the party’s “influence is falling precipitously.”