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US-Greece Alliance

Greece is the home of great civilization and the foundation of modern day developments. Ancient Greece is the place where the Mediterranean civilization during the third millennium took shape. It is where great thinkers like Aristotle and Sophocles moulded their philosophies and realizations of life. It is also the civilization which prompted development in the fields of architecture, art, drama, philosophy and government. When studying history, Greece is always described with grandiosity and lavishness. In the present day, Greece is known as the Hellenic Republic.

It is located in South Eastern Europe and famed for the beauty scenery that it provides. Just like Ancient Greece, present Greece continues to keep people in amazement with its excellent landscapes. The area is surrounded with mountainous interiors with coastal plains and more than one thousand islands. Roughly as large as Alabama, Greece constitutes a total land area of 131, 676 square kilometers. The islands thereof account for 20 percent of the land area. Such allure keeps the people from all over the world to visit the country. Tourism as well as shipping form great sources of revenue for the government.

Greece houses the largest ship fleet in the world. Aside from tourism and shipping, Greece also benefits considerable economic benefits from its recent membership in the European Union. The Gross Domestic product is registered at $314. 6 billion and the inflation rate is at three percent (CIA). Among the other sources of revenue are: agriculture, manufacturing, services and trade. Among its major trade partners are Germany, France, Italy, United States and United Kingdom. Greece became a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1952.

NATO served as the protection of Western countries against the attacks of the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Based on the treaty, any attack launched against any of the member countries equates to an attack to all. Aside from the NATO, Greece is also a member of the European Union (EU). The EU is a conglomeration of 27 European countries aimed at boosting economic integration and strengthening cooperation among the members. The affiliation of NATO member countries with the EU has caused tensions between the United States and EU member nations.

The latter want to create a defense system that will not include non-EU member countries (Infoplease). Despite the tension between the United States and the EU, the economic relationship of the former with Greece remains to be untainted. The two countries continue to be major trading partners. No significant non-tariff barriers are made against US exports. Last year, the US trade surplus to Greece amounted to $769 million. More than two percent of the total imports in Greece came from the US. Among the subjects of trade are defense materials, food processing, construction and franchising sectors.

No significant tariff barriers are made on American exports in Greece (US State Government). The United States and Greece have close ties with each other due to their shared democratic values and principles, common heritage and alliance during the world wars. The United States assisted Greece in its claim for independence as well as tied up during the first and Second World Wars, Korean War, and Cold War. The alliance became stronger when the Greek government expressed its support for the US war against terrorism. The country allowed its airspace as well as its military assets to be used in the campaign on counterterrorism.

Through the years, the two countries stood by each other—supporting each other’s international decisions and continuously reviving economic relations. In 1990, the two countries entered into a mutual defense cooperation agreement in order to strengthen its military relations. Last January 2006, the two countries updated their agreements on mutual legal assistance and extradition. Despite the close relationship of Greece and the United States, there are several issues which are affecting the two countries. The first is the issue on US recognition of Macedonia.

The United States has recognized the name “Macedonia” as the constitutional name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia since 2004. The Greek government on the other hand refuses to recognize the same and is seeking support from other countries such as the United States to do the same. According to the Greek government, it will exert all efforts in order to block Macedonia’s membership in the NATO and EU. Greece interprets the use of the name “Macedonia” as a claim on a Greek province vested with the same name. The express recognition of the American government of the name “Macedonia” angered Greece.

However, the US government explained that its decision was not meant to anger the Greek government but only to recognize the commitment of Macedonia to democracy (BBC News). Another issue affecting the two countries is the Visa Waiver program. If approved, the program will make Greek visit to America easier since they need not apply for a US visa. However, the program has not yet been approved. Further researches are still being made in order to assess the feasibility of the program and the possible effects thereof to the country’s home land security.

The Greek government finds the opportunity appealing since it will ease the process of travel and the open more possibilities for trade and other forms of business relations (Thessaloniki). The Cyprus issue is also affecting the relationship of the two countries. The US has been trying to mediate Greece with Turkey and hopefully end the conflict between the two countries. The United States believe that peace should be preserved between the two countries and their dispute on their maritime, air and territorial boundaries on the Aegean sea should be settled.

The US has participated in several mediation efforts but the two countries remain to be tough against each other. Both Greece and Turkey believes they have a claim to the Aegean boundary thus the cause of military struggles (Cyprus Conflict). Works Cited “Cyprus Conflict. ” Cyprus-Conflict. 27 November 2008 <http://www. cyprus- conflict. net/www. cyprus-conflict. net/intro%20page. html> “Greece. ” US Department of State. 27 November 2008. <http://www. state. gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3395. htm> “Greece Considers Macedonia Name. ” BBC News.

8 April 2005. 27 November 2008 <http://news. bbc. co. uk/2/hi/europe/4425249. stm>. “North Atlantic Treaty Organization. ” Infoplease. 2007. 27 November 2008 <http://www. infoplease. com/ce6/history/A0835931. html> “The World Fact Book Greece. ” CIA. 20 November 2008. 27 November 2008 <https://www. cia. gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/print/gr. html> “U. S. Experts in Greece to Review Visa Waiver Program Candidacy. ” Thessaloniki Greece. 27 November 2007. 27 November 2008 <http://thessaloniki. usconsulate. gov/waiver. html>

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