Greece calls on France to play key role in European growth

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called on France on Wednesday to play a key role in helping Europe return to growth, following a meeting with President Francois Hollande in Paris.

“We need a new accord in Europe for the return of growth and social cohesion, and in this effort we certainly need France playing a role of guarantor, a protagonist for this political change,” said Tsipras, who is on a whistlestop tour of Europe to drum up support for his plans to renegotiate Greek debt.

Tsipras voiced confidence that Athens could work with international partners to reach an agreement, saying Greece’s debt burden must be made manageable.

“The debt must become viable, this is what we must discuss,” he said, adding that he had put “realistic” proposals to EU partners in meetings over the past few days.

Hollande said he respected the vote of the Greek people, adding that it “underscored that austerity as the only perspective and reality wasn’t tolerable anymore.”

“But there is also respect for European rules, which are imposed on everyone, France too, and it’s not always simple,” Hollande said at the Elysee Palace with Tsipras at his side.

“And then respect for commitments that have been made in connection to debts related to states.”