Obama: World lead­ers must heed peo­ple’s eco­nomic fears

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

ATHENS (AP): RAWING A broad les­son from the elec­tion of Don­ald Trump, Pres­i­dent Barack Obama said yes­ter­day that world lead­ers need to pay at­ten­tion to peo­ple’s very real fears of eco­nomic dis­lo­ca­tion and inequal­ity in the midst of glob­al­i­sa­tion. “The more ag­gres­sively and ef­fec­tively we deal with those is­sues, the less those fears may chan­nel them­selves

Dinto coun­ter­pro­duc­tive ap­proaches that can pit peo­ple against each other,” Obama said as he opened the last for­eign tour of his pres­i­dency. Obama, in a joint news con­fer­ence with Greek Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras, said that both Trump’s elec­tion and the Bri­tish vote to leave the Euro­pean Union re­flected the need to deal with “peo­ple’s fears that their chil­dren won’t do as well as they have.

“Some­times, peo­ple just feel as if we want to try some­thing and see if we can shake things up,” Obama said.


The pres­i­dent seemed scep­ti­cal that “the new pre­scrip­tions be­ing of­fered” would sat­isfy the frus­tra­tions and anger ev­i­dent in elec­tion. And he played a bit of de­fence, say­ing that his agenda over the past eight years had dealt with eco­nomic is­sues head-on and “the coun­try’s in­dis­putably bet­ter off”.

Obama added point­edly that some of the rhetoric seen in the elec­tions was “pretty trou­bling and not nec­es­sar­ily con­nected to the facts”.

Tsipras, for his part, said he had re­frained from rush­ing to crit­i­cis­ing Trump as some other Euro­pean lead­ers had done, say­ing that the Repub­li­can’s “ag­gres­sive man­ner” as a can­di­date might be dif­fer­ent as pres­i­dent. He pre­dicted that “in the near fu­ture, not much is go­ing to change in the re­la­tions be­tween the EU, Greece and the United States of Amer­ica”.

Tsipras added that it was one thing to crit­i­cise Trump dur­ing the cam­paign and an­other thing now that Trump will be a “ma­jor player” in the world.

Greek Pres­i­dent Prokopis Pavlopou­los played host at an of­fi­cial din­ner for Obama at the pres­i­den­tial man­sion in the evening.

Obama’s visit sparked mi­nor clashes in Athens as left-wing demon­stra­tors tried to break a po­lice cordon and were re­pelled with tear gas. No in­juries or ar­rests were re­ported. About 3,000 anar­chists, left-wing group sup­port­ers and stu­dents marched through the city cen­tre in a demon­stra­tion orig­i­nally planned to reach the US Em­bassy in an­other part of town.


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