Former US diplomat and resident of Greece Robert Palm, Jr. apologized recently on social media after he implied in a tweet that Greeks are beggars.
The former Defense Attaché of the US Embassy in Athens — who is now a freelance consultant on defense issues — caused anger on social media by noting that “beggars cannot afford to haggle.”
In a tweet, referring to the discussions between Washington and Athens on the purchase of US frigates, the former US diplomat implied that Greece is trying to take advantage of the excellent bilateral defense relations.
Palm, who was decorated by former Greek Minister of Defense Panos Kammenos in 2018 for his services to the Greek-American defense relationship, was forced to apologize after the furor.
“As a private citizen I speak neither for the US government or Lockheed. I deleted my earlier tweet because my comment, which was not intended to be mean or disrespectful, was not thought out well, unfortunately offended. For that I’m truly sorry,” he wrote on Twitter on March 24.
Palm added: “I have only the deepest respect for this country, its people and for its strong future. To the HDNGS, MOD and US Embassy I apologize for the inappropriate mistake.”
Palm, with nearly 20 years of experience working overseas for the U.S. Department of State, including in Greece, describes himself at LinkedIn as an “ardent, empathetic leader with expertise in cultural decoding.”
Former US diplomat’s “beggars” tweet brings reaction
However, his offensive remark appears to prove that his expertise in different cultures has failed him this time. It has also has led to strong criticism by members of the Greek military establishment.
General Konstantinos Ziazias, Honorary Chief of the Hellenic Army General Staff, said that with his post on Twitter “is offensive against Greece, against our people, against the military and political leadership of our country.
“A nation that taught the world that it is better to die free than to live as a slave is never a ‘beggar'”, General Ziazias said on Facebook.
“If Greece ever asked for help, financial and military, it was after the disasters she suffered from her involvement in world wars, always on the side of the Western World and always paid with rivers of blood,” he said.