Receiving an American Hellenic Institute (AHI) delegation and Greek-American students at the presidential mansion in Athens earlier on Monday, Papoulias thanked President Obama for his voiced interest “in this difficult period for Greece and for speaking with European leaders, Chancellor (Angela) Merkel and President (Nicolas) Sarkozy in particular. This is very important. We will not forget it. I thank him personally and I hope that we’ll have the opportunity to meet and talk about our common interests and dreams. Together with the United States we have always fought for the same principles, namely, freedom, independence and human rights.”
Addressing the young students visiting Greece and Cyprus through an AHI initiative, Papoulias expressed optimism that Greece will exit the crisis.
“We are a very resilient people. We have strong genes. We have made it in the past in much more difficult times than these and managed to pull through. And we’ll do the same now. I am optimistic because the Greek people have infinite abilities and potential. You know about this first hand by watching your parents,” he said.