Library of Congress Report Accuses Greece of "Malfeasance"

2008-01-23 09:38:45 WASHINGTON, D.C., January 21, 2008 -- “A Library of Congress report gives a false image of Greece by omitting favorable information and replacing it with accusations of ‘malfeasance’ with respect to its wildfires and accusations of a significant member of the Greek parliament of praising Hitler and his policies. The report is being strongly contested by the ten-year-old Hellenic-American Heritage Council (HAHC), an organization of major American companies advocating fairness for Greece and strong bilateral relations.

In a letter to the library, HAHC said the report contains ‘questionable and unsubstantiated accusations against Greece’ as well as ‘omissions and inaccuracies’ and ‘does not accurately reflect Greek positions on many issues.’ The letter also cautioned that ‘inaccurate information about Greece in the past has unnecessarily injured America’s bilateral relations’,” said Edward Derwinski, Chairman of HAHC and a former Ranking Republican on the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee and former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “American Ambassador to Greece Daniel Speckhard corrected a question that Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) asked that implied Greek Anti-Americanism in the Russian pipeline deal, at Speckhard’s U.S. Senate confirmation hearing on October 17, 2007, where this Congressional report first came to light. Casey innocently asked the question due to the misleading Library of Congress briefing materials he was given. The Ambassador’s response appears to be a hallmark of his Ambassadorship to Greece – correcting incorrect and negative ‘conventional wisdom’ about Greece,” Derwinski added.

“The HAHC letter said that a fair description of bilateral relations between the U.S. and Greece would report that Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns recently told Congress very positive things about Greece and the benefits it brings to the United States”, Derwinski said.

“The HAHC is optimistic that the Library of Congress report will be corrected because the Library’s head, James Billington, is ‘a highly respected person in his field and an individual with a record of involvement in and fairness toward Hellenic issues,’ It appears that he is unaware, among his library of over 5,000 employees, of the details of the report on Greece,” Derwinski concluded.

(Posting date 28 January 2008)
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