"New Greece, new opportunities" was the phrase heard repeatedly by Greek journalists during a conversation with a senior U.S. official, held after a series of contacts that he had in Athens with members of the government, the opposition and representatives of Greek industry and production.
The U.S. official stressed that the low-key and smooth government transition seen in Greece sent a message of stability and maturity in the country's democracy to the private sector and entrepreneurs, while he underlined the importance of a responsible opposition.
Referring to the establishment of U.S.-Greece Strategic Dialogue under the previous government with the assistance of US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt, he said that the U.S. government wants to continue to expand all areas of Strategic Dialogue with the present government, including in defence, energy, investment, but also in ties between two peoples.
Greece and the U.S. "can do many things together", he said, adding that the two sides will move on to the next round of Strategic Dialogue in the autumn and that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will visit Greece as soon as possible.
Only 15 days have passed since the elections and so many contacts have been made, the official said, referring to talks between Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with U.S. President Donald Trump and the U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence, as well as the visit by Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias to the United States last week. "We will see excellent bilateral relations," he added.
He particularly noted Mitsotakis' decisive approach to reducing bureaucracy and to creating an efficient Greek state for citizens that is also attractive for investors, while describing the new digital governance minister as very dynamic.
With respect to defence cooperation, the official said that both sides want to modernise the defence cooperation agreement dating back to the Cold War. He also referred to the contribution of drone technology, which did not exist at that time, especially for the prevention and management of natural disasters, contributing to safety.
Bilateral defence cooperation will become stronger than ever, with Greece acting as a pillar of stability in the region, he added.
Asked whether Washington might deploy additional U.S. forces in Greece, he replied that according to the U.S. National Security Strategy, the emphasis is on flexibility, combat ability and mobility rather than on a more permanent presence and he added that this meant a temporary stay, training and accessibility - for example in ports such as Alexandroupolis, which offers training opportunities.