- Title: Obama arrives in Athens under intense security
- Date: 15th November 2016
- Summary: ATHENS, GREECE (NOVEMBER 15, 2016) (REUTERS) GREEK POLICE DEPLOYED IN THE STREETS OF THE ATHENS FOR OBAMA'S VISIT / GREEK PARLIAMENT IN BACKGROUND VARIOUS OF GREEK POLICE VARIOUS OF GREEK POLICE VANS BLOCKING STREET TO THE PRESIDENTIAL PALACE GREEK POLICE OFFICERS AND POLICE VANS GREEK POLICE
- Embargoed: 30th November 2016 09:57
- Keywords: Obama Greece debt Europe economy refugees
- Location: ATHENS, GREECE
- City: ATHENS, GREECE
- Country: Greece
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00258K1GZR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Air Force One touched down at Athens International Airport on Tuesday (November 15) in a visit to the Greek capital by U.S. President Barack Obama.
Obama was welcomed by Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos on a red carpet with a military honor guard.
Police sources said 5,000 Greek police will be guarding the visit, including rooftop snipers, as well as bomb explosive experts and police sniffer dogs checking sites the president will pass through and visit.
Police have banned public gatherings in a large swathe of central Athens during the visit. Public transport schedules for buses and subway trains were canceled or diverted. Obama's visit will trigger protests by leftist groups and trade unions that have long seen the United States as an "imperialist" power. Anti-war and anti-racism groups are planning to gather in protest over issues such as the war in Syria, Greece's refugee crisis, and Trump's stance on immigrants.
Greece hopes that a visit by Obama will increase pressure on its creditors to grant debt relief to an economy shattered by years of recession.
The United States and the International Monetary Fund have urged a restructuring of Greece's crippling debt load but face resistance from the European Union, particularly Germany, whose banks would be most exposed to such a move. Discussions are also expected to focus on the country's refugee situation.
Obama, who will travel to Berlin after Athens, is the first serving U.S. president to visit Greece since Bill Clinton in 1999.
Greeks, like other Europeans, are reticent about how relations with the United States will develop under Trump. Trump has criticized the NATO alliance and said European nations should spend more on their own defense.
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