U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has promised U.S. support for Greece at the start of a crucial week for the future of Europe’s debt-saddled common currency, the euro.
Speaking in Athens Monday, the visiting U.S. vice president said Washington stands in solidarity with Greece as it works to meet challenging financial standards set by the International Monetary Fund and the European Union.
Biden stressed it is in the interest of the United States that Greece work its way though this financial crisis and that it remain a strong and vital part of the European Union. He said the United States is ready to help Greece in any way it can.
The U.S. vice president met with Greek President Karolos Papoulias and newly elected Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, as well as leaders of the main parties backing Greece’s new coalition government. Later in the day he is scheduled to meet with former prime minister and Socialist leader George Papandreou and conservative leader Antonis Samaras.
Biden’s trip comes ahead of a key EU summit on the debt crisis in Brussels on Thursday, and a separate visit to the eurozone this week by U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who will urge decisive action to control the crisis.
Vice President Biden traveled to Greece from Turkey, where he pressed Ankara to impose new sanctions on Iran and praised the Turkish government for its moves to end Syria’s brutal crackdown on protesters.