French President Emmanuel Macron said the Greek people’s struggle for independence in the 19th century serves as an inspiration for France and Europe and sent a message of support during an interview aired by state-run broadcaster ERT on Wednesday night.
Macron said he was sorry he could not attend the celebrations in Athens for the 200th anniversary of the start of the Greek Revolution with his wife Brigitte, after receiving an official invitation, pointing to the health restrictions in France imposed to tackle the pandemic.
“Unfortunately the health protocol forces me to stay in Paris. That is why I want to send a message of real friendship and respect for all the Greek people, the country, the nation and, of course, the authorities, the President, the Prime Minister,” he told ERT.
“Greece is at the forefront of European freedom, this struggle for culture.…We will do everything we can with the Prime Minister [Kyriakos] Mitsotakis to work and be able to open your wonderful country to our young people, our students, archaeologists, academics and tourists, but Greece inspires today as it did in the past because there is this unique bond [with France],” he added.