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AHI Submits Letter to The Economist; Arise TV Interviews AHI President
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Georgea Polizos
March 19, 2015—No. 8 (202) 785-8430

AHI Submits Letter to The Economist; Arise TV Interviews AHI President

WASHINGTON, DC — The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) submitted a letter to the editor of The Economist, March 2, 2015.  The letter, authored by AHI President Nick Larigakis, rebutted a February 28, 2105 article, “A semi-guided missile,” that casted doubt on Greece’s important role as a NATO ally. 

Larigakis wrote, “To be clear, despite Greece’s economic woes, Greece is only one of four NATO countries to maintain the 2% minimum standard for military expenditures at 2.3%.”   He added the invaluable role of NSA Souda Bay, Crete, in facilitating NATO and U.S. missions in addition to the importance of NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Center (NMIOTC) and NATO Missile Firing Installation (NAMFI), which are both located on Crete.  Furthermore, Larigakis cites Greece’s value to security interests in the Mediterranean due to emerging threats caused by greater access to the Mediterranean by ISIS, which presence eerily was felt recently on Libya’s Mediterranean coast.

  • Larigakis’ original letter for submission is found below.

Arise TV Interview

Also in March, Arise TV, an emerging 24-hour news channel with hubs in London and New York, interviewed President Larigakis about the new government in Greece and the country’s economy. Also, Larigakis made it a point to address why Greece maintains 2.3% of its GDP on military expenditures, a question presented to a previous interviewee who did not see why Greece needed to do so.  Larigakis informed the journalist that Greece maintains this level of military spending to defend and safeguard its sovereign territory in the Aegean from Turkey’s violation of Greece’s airspace and territorial waters.

The American Hellenic Institute is an independent non-profit Greek American public policy center and think tank that works to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus, and within the Greek American community.

 

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For additional information, please contact Georgea Polizos at (202) 785-8430 or at [email protected] For general information about the activities of AHI, please see our website at http://www.ahiworld.org and follow us on Twitter @TheAHIinDC.

 


March 2, 2015
The Editor
The Economist

Dear Editor,

“A semi-guided missile” (Feb. 28, 2015) unfortunately casts doubt on Greece’s important strategic value as a NATO ally, or at the very least, views Greece’s role as being modest or diminished.  To be clear, despite Greece’s economic woes, Greece is only one of four NATO countries to maintain the 2% minimum standard for military expenditures at 2.3%.  NSA Souda Bay, Crete, which the article does reference, has supported a host of NATO missions, including the evacuation of Libya.  Also, Greece has supported NATO peacekeeping missions in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan.  In addition to NSA Souda Bay, Greece is home to NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Center (NMIOTC), which enables NATO to better execute maritime interdiction operations, and NATO Missile Firing Installation (NAMFI), the only ground-to-air/surface missile firing range in Europe that provides missile training for NATO forces. 

Furthermore, Greece has kept Europe safe through NATO counterterrorism and counter-piracy missions in the Mediterranean Sea.  These missions also will help NATO address a new security concern about greater access to the Mediterranean by ISIS, which presence eerily was felt recently on Libya’s Mediterranean coast, and the increased risk of military conflict ISIS poses in central and eastern Mediterranean.

Therefore, it is clear from these examples that Greece’s military value has not waned.  Instead, its value is as crucial as ever, especially to European nations, as new threats emerge in the Mediterranean.

           

Sincerely,
Nick Larigakis
President
American Hellenic Institute
1220 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC  20036