The United States appointed its first Consul to Greece in 1837, following Greece’s independence from the Ottoman Empire, and established diplomatic relations with Greece in 1868. After World War II, the United States contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild Greece’s buildings, agriculture, and industry as part of the Marshall Plan. Today, an estimated three million Americans resident in the United States claim Greek descent. This large, well-organized community cultivates close political and cultural ties with Greece. The U.S. Embassy in Athens and the Consulate General in Thessaloniki host numerous U.S. agencies in support of a robust bilateral agenda.
U.S. Assistance to Greece
U.S. assistance fosters strong bilateral military-to-military relations and contributes toward the interoperability of Greek forces within NATO.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Greece is a member of the European Union and the Eurozone. The United States has expressed consistent strong support for Greece’s ongoing effort to restore fiscal stability, implement structural reforms, recover competitiveness, and restart growth. There are no significant non-tariff barriers to U.S. exports. The top U.S. exports to Greece are defense articles, although U.S. business activity is expected to grow in the high-tech, biomedical, tourism development, medical, construction, food processing, specialty agriculture and packaging, and franchising sectors. U.S. companies are interested and involved in Greece’s privatization efforts. Further deregulation of Greece’s energy sector and the country’s central location as a transportation hub for Europe may offer additional opportunities in renewables, gas, refinery, and related sectors. Greece participates in the Visa Waiver Program, which allows nationals of participating countries to travel to the United States for certain business or tourism purposes for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.