Due to a «political issue»
There are many Americans of Greek origin. Also, many Greeks live and work in the United States. Since a good number of Greeks want to visit their friends and relatives who live in the United States and since currently the U.S. demands Greeks to get a visa in order to travel to the U.S. even for tourism, the Greek Government worked closely with U.S. authorities to ensure inclusion of Greece in the visa waiver program. However, today I learned that Greece’s candidacy to enter the U.S. visa waiver program was declined. The reason for this decision was that there is a «political issue» with Greece. The political issue is Greece’s stance on FYROM’s bid to join NATO in last April’s NATO summit in Bucharest. In other words, this is how Mr. Bush punishes Greece for being such a bad ally. Interestingly, Condoleezza Rice had assured the Greek Foreign Minsister that Greek will enter the visa waiver program soon enough. Eventually, she actually lied and this is not the first time a U.S. official lies to his/her Greek counterpart…
Some lawmakers worry that visa waivers could make it easier for terrorists to slip into the United States. All of the countries added to the list agreed to take specific steps, such as coming up with tamper-proof, biometric passports that are difficult to forge.
Note that all Greeks have these kind of passports already, whereas these countries have promised to take the necessary steps to issue such passports in the future! The article goes on as follows:
Bush also expressed support for efforts by Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Malta, Poland and Romania to win visa exemptions.
Thank you very much for your kind words President Bush!