Monday November 24, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
10o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
On Athens visit, Hollande pledges to 'mobilize' French investment in Greece

French President Francois Hollande promised on Tuesday to promote French investment in recession-hit Greece as he argued that a recovery in European growth was the best way to meet fiscal targets.

"I am here to mobilise French companies to invest in Greece,» Hollande told reporters at the start of his one-day visit after meeting with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

"We need more growth in Europe, this is how we will be able to achieve our deficit-reduction targets,» he said.

France under Hollande has repeatedly stressed that austerity must be accompanied by measures that fuel sustained growth.

In this, his line has contrasted with the emphasis by European powerhouse Germany which insists on balanced budgets above all.

Hollande admitted on Tuesday that France would miss its growth forecast for 2013.

But he insisted that France «is among countries which are in the least poor position, even if we are far from meeting our objectives."

Hollande was greeted with military honours at Athens airport by Samaras.

He arrived during a 24-hour strike by Greek media, but state broadcaster NET showed footage of his arrival without journalistic commentary.

And in contrast to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose arrival had sparked an angry demonstration by some 30,000 people last year, the streets of Athens were quiet ahead of a general strike on Wednesday.

"Today we inaugurate a new chapter in our relations,» Samaras said.

"France is always the political centre of Europe. It gave decisive backing not only for us to enter Europe but to stay in Europe in past months, and it supports us today so we can exit the crisis,» the Greek PM said.

On the sidelines of the visit, a Greek government source told AFP that France would loan two navy frigates to Greece.

This deal is expected to be signed later this month when French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is scheduled to visit.

The loan of four navy support aircraft is also under consideration, the source said.

Owing to the crisis, Greece has curtailed previously extensive arms purchases from the United States, Germany and France.

"I did not come here to sell (arms),» Hollande stressed in his comments.

The FREMM-type frigates will be included in the Greek navy and could assist a search for hydrocarbons which Greece hopes to start in coming months, the government source said.

Hollande later met President Carolos Papoulias and addressed a meeting with the heads of around 40 leading Greek companies.

He was also to meet the head of the Greek socialist party, Evangelos Venizelos.

The Socialists are part of an uneasy three-party coalition headed by Samaras' conservatives.

Under the terms of bailout help from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, Greece must sell or lease a number of state assets including gas and water companies, ports and its national railroad operator Trainose.

Hollande said that French companies had «quality services» to offer in water utilities, electricity, railways and other sectors.

"From the moment the tenders begin, French companies must be present,» he said.

A number of French countries have a significant presence in Greece, including Bic, which has one of its main shaver factories in the country as well as its main research and development centre.

Cement maker Lafarge and transport infrastructure and power company Alstom also have a significant presence.

In contrast, prominent French banks Credit Agricole and Societe Generale extricated themselves from Greek subsidiaries last year, at the height of fears that Greece would be forced to leave the euro.

European Union leaders agreed in December to provide Greece with 49.1 billion euros ($66 billion) in return for additional austerity measures, breaking a six-month stalemate.

Senior auditors from the EU, the IMF and the European Central Bank are returning to Greece later this month to gauge the progress of reforms.

Their report will determine whether Athens will have access to a scheduled slice of 2.8 billion euros from its international creditors due in February.

[AFP]

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday February 20, 2013 (08:19)  
Greek air traffic controllers say they will join Thursday´s general strike
Livestock breeders to protest in central Athens on Tuesday
Greek government sees Paris meeting as ´last phase´ in troika talks
Prosecutor recommends 64 suspects should be tried over OTE´s Siemens contract
Traders eye developments with creditors
The last week of November began with minor losses for the Greek bourse’s benchmark as traders are anticipating developments regarding a pending review of the Greek program’s progress by the ...
ILO calls for urgent action in Greece to create jobs, tackle social problems
The International Labor Organization (ILO) called on Monday for a change in policy in Greece to boost employment and prevent a social crisis. In its “Productive Jobs for Greece” study, which...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Olympiakos ends PAOK´s unbeaten run in Basket League
Olympiakos put an end to PAOK’s unbeaten run in the Basket League with an emphatic win at the Peace and Friendship Stadium, leaving Panathinaikos as the only team with a perfect record so fa...
INTERVIEW
Tokyo hopes to change the world
The 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo will serve as a springboard for the rebuilding of Japan’s image and economy following the triple blow of the earthquake, tsunami and nuc...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Extremism from a bygone era
There are times when we seem to be overcome by self-destructive madness. I hear various commentators and politicians speaking in extreme terms of a junta, of defections, gallows, collaborato...
EDITORIAL
No call for more games
Psychological warfare has been a part of the negotiations between the troika and Athens from the very start of the crisis. But the situation is much different now and troika decision-makers ...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Traders eye developments with creditors
2. Greek air traffic controllers say they will join Thursday´s general strike
3. ILO calls for urgent action in Greece to create jobs, tackle social problems
4. Livestock breeders to protest in central Athens on Tuesday
5. Draghi urgency for ECB action gets final reality check
6. Greece to scrap need for permits in some 900 professions
more news
Today
This Week
1. Scientists expand excavation of ancient Amphipolis
2. Greek officials to meek troika chiefs in Paris to break review stalemate
3. EU said to plan 21 billion-euro risk-sharing fund for investment
4. Biden informs Anastasiades about content of talks with Erdogan
5. Police seek to name man who opened fire with AK47 at Piraeus bar
6. Countdown to missed opportunity for EU economy
Today
This Week
1. Double quake on Atalanti fault line rattles Greek capital [Update]
2. Biden heads to Istanbul amid tension over Cyprus EEZ violation
3. Anti-junta uprising anniversary to be marked amid tight security
4. Every age has its collaborators
5. Give Greece a chance
6. Carlsberg takes control of Greek brewer Olympic Brewery [Update]
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.