Barack Obama and his wife Michelle were spotted enjoying a short vacation in the Cyclades islands in Greece this weekend, ahead of the former U.S. President’s participation in an international conference in Athens next week.
Local sources said that the couple had arrived in Greece on Friday, travelling incognito on a private jet, and were eventually seen on Saturday in Naousa, a picturesque fishing village on Paros island.
The Obamas are most probably being hosted by their friends, Hollywood actors Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, who own a holiday home on the adjacent island of Antiparos.
Tight security for Obamas’ stay on Greek islands
Barack and Michelle Obama were reportedly accompanied by over thirty American security agents who followed their every step as they went out to dine at a gourmet fish restaurant in Naousa, Paros.
According to Greek newspaper ProtoThema, they were sat at a remote area of the restaurant, while the restaurant owner was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement and staff were required to remove their smart watches and put away their phones until the former presidential couple of the United States had left.
Over the weekend, the Obamas and the Hanks reportedly enjoyed mini cruises to secluded beaches of Paros, Antiparos and nearby Ios, where they traveled by private boat.
The only photo leaked so far from the Obamas’ Greek island vacation was shared by a Twitter user who felt annoyed at how “the whole island was disrupted” by their stay on Antiparos.
Barack and Michelle Obama came to Antiparos, hosted by Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, and the whole island was disrupted.
If they want privacy, why don't they go to a private island? Many Greeks are subservient, having zero issues with that, but some of us are simply disgusted.
— akako (@generativeleft) June 17, 2023
Barack Obama expected in Athens
Former U.S. President Barack Obama is expected in Athens this week, where he will participate in this year’s SNF Nostos Conference (June 21-23), organized by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
Obama will be visiting Athens as part of the Obama Foundation Leaders program, which includes 105 emerging change-makers from Africa, Asia-Pacific and Europe participating in the program, representing 75 nations and territories.
They will meet with the former President in the Greek capital. The convening will mark the culmination of the six-month program.
Launched in 2014, the Obama Foundation’s mission is “to inspire people to take action, empower them to change their world for the better, and connect them so they can achieve more together.”
Over the next few days, #ObamaLeaders from all over the world will be gathering in Greece to exchange ideas, meet with President @BarackObama, and discuss creating lasting change in their communities at our #Athens2023 Leaders Convening.
Follow along on Instagram as we share… pic.twitter.com/kqpeUCxr2b
— The Obama Foundation (@ObamaFoundation) June 17, 2023