OPINION

Anti-Greek bias

…The new big thorn in Greek-American relations was confirmed during Prime Minister Costas Simitis’s recent visit to the USA. It concerns the organized attempt to distort the causes and the essence of the anti-American sentiments nourished by an, indeed significant, section of the Greek public and to create the impression that the so-called anti-American bias is not aimed at any specific decisions by policymakers in Washington, but rather at the American people in general… Unfortunately, after the September 11 terrorist assaults, things have changed for the worse. The opinion polls which reflected lingering anti-Americanism in our country were interpreted as public apathy toward or even satisfaction over the blow suffered by the superpower and the American people… Such interpretations, however, prompt the average American citizen to formulate a corresponding view not about the country’s political elite but about the Greek people as a whole. As a consequence, repugnant and obscure attempts, like the one by the CBS broadcasting network, to portray Greece as a hotbed and a slough of international terrorism are adopted and confirmed by the American public… All this should cause concern among our political elite and all those responsible for shaping and expressing the public sentiment. A country’s international ties are not only shaped at the official governmental level. Most of all, they need to be based on the friendship between the peoples… Having dawdled for decades, Clerides and Denktash may now be two old men in a hurry to cement their places in history by achieving a settlement.