Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras welcomed French President Emmanuel Macron at the Maximos Mansion on Thursday, noting the significance of his visit for the deepening of Greek-French relations and for the opportunity to discuss about the future of Europe.
“I believe we couldn’t have selected a more symbolic place than the Pnyx, where democracy took its first steps, to present our visions for the necessary changes, the brave decisions we must take to make Europe more attractive to our generation and the generations to come,” Tsipras said in a brief dialogue with th French leader before the press.
“I believe that your visit today can be an important milestone both for Greek-French relations, which have traditionally been close, but also for the necessary changes that we need in order for Europe to permanently emerge from today’s crisis. Let’s not forget, the Greek crisis was simultaneously a European crisis. Therefore, Greece’s exit from the crisis will also mark the final end of the crisis in Europe,” he added.
Tsipras commented on the victims of Hurricane Irma, saying that everyone?s thoughts are with them, and expressed hope that the French president will have a productive visit, during which the two sides will be able to achieve their goals. “You, in particular, the goals you’ve set for your tenure as President of France […] and the important goals for the recovery of the European idea, an exit from the crisis and Europe’s rebirth,” he said.
On his side, Macron said that after the reforms and the huge efforts of the Greek people, Europe must talk about an exit from the crisis. He said that, for him, Greece “is something very important.” The French leader commented again on the destruction caused by Hurricane Irma to the country’s Caribbean island territories of Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy, adding he will visit them as soon as weather conditions permit.
He also stressed that these natural disasters have a cause, which is none other than climate change and that countries “must tackle this.”