U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Greece on Tuesday on his last European tour as president, meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. President Barack Obama met with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens on Tuesday on his last European tour as president, and indicated that the two would discuss the country's debt issue, while emphasizing that austerity alone could not deliver prosperity. Athens said it held out hope that he will use his clout to help persuade the country's creditors to forgive some of its monumental debt. Obama, who will be replaced in January by Donald Trump, was welcomed by Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos at Athens airport at the start of his two-day visit, the first by a U.S. president to Greece since Bill Clinton in 1999. In brief remarks with Tsipras, Obama congratulated the Greek PM, people and government for moving forward through difficult process of financial reforms. "The reforms have not been easy but have been necessary, will make the Greek economy more competitive and at the same time in my message to the rest of Europe, I will continue to emphasize our view that austerity alone cannot deliver prosperity," he said. Greece signed up to a third economic bailout package of up to 86 billion euros ($93 billion)in mid-2015 but says that it needs a long-term debt restructuring to emerge from the worst economic downturn for generations. The country of 11 million people has also been caught in the crosshairs of the migrant and refugee crisis. Thousands are stranded in Greece after their onwards journey into Europe was sealed off this year as borders were shut in the Balkans.