Ambassador Tsunis’s Remarks at Microsoft Hellas 30th Anniversary Event

September 19, 2022

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

(As Prepared)

Good evening.  It is an honor to be here with Prime Minister Mitsotakis to celebrate three decades of Microsoft’s incredible investment and commitment to Greece and its people.

Prime Minister Mitsotakis and the Greek government have made tremendous advancements in accelerating the growth of Greece’s digital economy.  And I am very proud to see American technology and expertise at the forefront of these efforts, as the United States works closely together with Greece to achieve our shared goals and strengthen both of our economies.

Greece and Microsoft are natural partners.  Greece is the birthplace of democracy and the famed Agora where ideas for change and the progress of humanity were first debated, 2,500 years ago.  Microsoft is the innovator that democratized this exchange of ideas and put its transformative power into the hands of everyone.

With 30 years of history in Greece, Microsoft has a unique story to tell.  Congratulations to Ralph Haupter, Theodosis Michalopoulos and the entire Microsoft team for this milestone.

As Greece continues to attract more U.S. investment, thanks to improved economic conditions, enhanced intellectual property protection and digital governance reforms, it is important to recognize companies like Microsoft that have long been making sustained and significant contributions to Greece’s remarkable digital transformation.

Greece has made huge strides, especially in recent years.  As you know, Greece was one of the first countries in the EU to launch a digital Covid-19 certificate.  This is more advanced than anything we have in the United States, where I still need to carry my physical, wrinkled vaccine card!  As it always does, at a time of critical need, Greece proved a natural leader and innovator.

We have seen other noteworthy changes to the business environment, including Greece’s exit from the Special 301 Report earlier this year.  This signals an important shift on how Greece protects intellectual property and will further pave the way for increased U.S. investment.

American technology is helping provide the tools for the Greek government to digitize public sector platforms, offer improved services and become even more competitive on the global stage.

Microsoft’s commitment to Greece is clear.  Microsoft is not only increasing its number of employees.  It’s also lending its innovative vision for Greece’s future for which we’re all incredibly optimistic.

Microsoft has announced one of the most strategic technology investments ever seen in Greece.  Through the creation of a data center region, Microsoft will help position Greece at the forefront of European cloud computing services.

Microsoft’s efforts are complemented by a solid plan to build Greece’s digital skills capacity and increase the competitiveness of Greek enterprises through initiatives like the Common Grounds: Ancient Olympia project, which has digitally recreated the Ancient Olympia as it stood thousands of years ago.  For those of you who have not visited, this is truly a remarkable achievement!

Investments like these in Greece’s future by American industry leaders will drive the country’s long-term economic growth, fostering prosperity for both of our countries.

I believe I speak for everybody here tonight when I say that I can’t wait to see how Microsoft will contribute to Greece’s future over the next thirty years.  On behalf of everyone at the U.S. Embassy, I’m very proud of our partnership, and all that the future holds.

Thank you again for inviting me here tonight, and congratulations!