As the whole world anxiously awaited the exit polls from the US on November 3rd in what was the most critical presidential election, with the highest voter turnout since 1900, so did many in Greece. In a year marked by an ongoing global pandemic and civil unrest all over the world, all eyes have been on the US and the presidential election for months. Greece has been following closely as well, as the unrest in the Mediterranean deepened when Turkish-Greek tensions escalated in a border standoff earlier this year and has since reached uneasy heights with the continuous war games over military exercises.
In the weeks leading to the elections and all the days following, while the entire world waited, holding their breath for the final counts of many of the “too close to call” otherwise known as swing states, Greece’s main media outlets allotted their coverage equally between local COVID-19 reporting and their analysis of the US presidential elections. Many Greek-Americans were asked to join the official Greek foreign press correspondents on different panels on Greek television and offered interviews to the major Greek newspapers allowing for a better understanding of the candidates and their views on critical Greek and Greek-American issues. As the tally in one of the key states of Pennsylvania was concluded a few days later, handing Joe Biden the victory, our very own founder of HNA, Paul Kotrotsios, was breaking the news on Channel 3 of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation, ERT3.
With the news came relief and hope for a vast number of Greeks all over the world as Greece believes that Philhellene, Joe Biden, who received the highest honor in 2016 by the OXI Day Foundation with the Athenagoras Human Rights Award, will work closely to advance stability in the eastern Mediterranean as promised by calling out Turkish behavior as a violation of international law. For his admiration towards the Greek people has been evident for decades. As Vice President and throughout Greece’s suffered financial crisis, he worked closely with European leaders and the International Monetary Fund to ensure that Greece got a fair deal and has long championed for both religious peace for the Ecumenical Patriarchate and political peace in divided Cyprus.
With the re-election of five Greek-American members in the House of Representatives, Democrats, John Sarbanes from Maryland, Charlie Christ from Florida, Dina Titus from Nevada, Chris Pappas from New Hampshire, Republican Gus Bilirakis from Florida and the newly elected Republican Nicole Malliotakis from New York, there is new hope that this will strengthen Greek ties more with the US, and that not only will Greek-American domestic concerns will be addressed but also ongoing issues with regards to their motherlands of Greece and Cyprus.
Throughout the campaign, two other familiar allies of Greece emerged in the spotlight alongside the New President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Eleni Kounalakis, first female Lt. Governor of California and long-time friend and supporter of Kamal Harris may well be the candidate to fill the U.S. Senate seat that the newly elected Vice President will have to vacate when she is sworn in in January 2021. Nicholas Burns, former U.S. Ambassador to Greece and undersecretary of state for political affairs in the Clinton and both Bush administrations is rumored to be amongst the considerations for Secretary of State in the Biden Administration. Further strengthening Greece’s voice in the White House and in Congress.
As Vice President, under the Obama administration and while campaigning for reelection Joe Biden introduced himself to a group of Greek-speaking Americans, as Joe Bidenopoulos. With the feeling of hope being restored not only in the U.S. but in Greece and all over the world, Greeks will be more than excited and happy to address him as President Bidenopoulos whenever he wishes to visit.