Fri, Aug 18, 2017 | updated 03:02 AM IST

Athens: Obama hails democracy despite challenges across globe

Updated: Nov 16, 2016 20:49 IST      
Athens: Obama hails democracy despite challenges across globe

Athens [Greece], Nov.16 (ANI): Following his tour of the Acropolis in Greece, United States President Barack Obama on Wednesday gave a symbolic nod to the ancient birthplace of the system, by praising democracy which he insisted would succeed despite challenges around the globe.

The U.S. President insisted that people deserve the right to elect their governments and leaders.

"Democracy can be especially complicated. Believe me. I know," CNN quoted Obama as saying. "But it is better than the alternatives because it allows us to peacefully work through our differences and move closer to our ideals."

Obama said that the system is naturally self correcting, as it gives people a chance to change a party or system if they are not working.

"It allows us to correct for mistakes," he said. "Any action by a president or any result of an election or any legislation that has proven flawed can be corrected through the process of democracy."

Obama climbed the Acropolis in central Athens and visited the Parthenon, the 2,500-year-old temple built by ancient Greeks dedicated to the goddess Athena as he lent his symbolism to his commitment to democratic ideals.

Obama on his final overseas visit as the President maintained appeasing tone believing that despite trump's statements during the campaign, he would remain committed to transatlantic ties and NATO following urgent questions from his counterparts about Donald Trump's victory and his plans for the US going forward.

Asserting that the treaty to protect allies was ironclad, Obama reiterated that the U.S. commitment to NATO and Europe would continue under Trump's presidency.

"I am confident that just as America's commitment to the transatlantic alliance has endured, whether under a Democratic or a Republican administration, that commitment will continue. Including our pledge and our treaty obligation to defend every ally," Obama said.

The U.S President, who is on his final leg of two-day stop in the capital city of Athens, had come there to discuss the Greece's constant debt issue and its program for admitting refugees.

Obama is the first US president to visit the country in 17 years.

Advocating for debt relief from Europe to help the economy recover, the previous day Obama said, "I've been clear from the beginning of this crisis that in order to make reforms sustainable, the Greek economy needs the space to return to growth and start creating jobs again,"

"We cannot simply look to austerity as a strategy and it is incredibly important that the Greek people see improvements in their daily lives so that they can carry with them the hope that their lives will get better," he added.

Linking austerity practices to a wave of isolationism, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras speaking alongside Obama suggested that restrictive spending policies could lead to an "increasing trend in scepticism and inward-looking, which is a threat to modern democracies."

"The insistence of European leaders to austerity policies keeps the European economy strapped in stagnation. And it therefore brings about huge political and social problems," he said. (ANI)

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