Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras and French President, Francois Hollande’s meeting in Paris was concluded on a positive note earlier today. The two leaders held a joint press conference during which they both indicated the need for cooperation between the European partners.
“Austerity cannot by itself be a solution,” Mr. Hollande highlighted after the meeting, adding, though, that “there must be respect in European rules, obligations and commitments that we have undertaken in relation to the debt. We have to consider all of them to determine the method.” In addition, the French President appeared confident that “Greece is committed and wants to stay in the Eurozone. It wants to give coherence to the Eurozone” and therefore there “should be a dialogue with its partners, which will be characterized by serenity and transparency.”
“Our aim is to conclude in an agreement and to establish contractual framework. France is committed to it,” underlining that Paris and Athens are connected not only by obligations but also by confidence. “We will support Greece in order to proceed with its reforms and we can even assist with the tax reforms, while we will also ask French companies to invest in Greece.”
On his behalf, the Greek Prime Minister underlined that the European countries are obligated to join forces, as we are currently at critical crossroads in a Europe where “the economic absurdity is currently prevailing.” Furthermore, he said : “The stability requires a policy change and a shift towards growth. We need a new deal for Europe, a new agreement for the development, which will strengthen employment and social cohesion. We need France on the front line as a guarantor and protagonist to change. On January 25 we got a clear mandate for a return to growth. Our goal is a new agreement. We plan to consult partners. The political change in Greece is an opportunity that we must utilize,” he said adding that “in the European Union all member states should be equal.”
Regarding the Greek proposal Mr. Tsipras explained that it is a realistic one that can lead to an agreement, allowing Greece to breathe and proceed with the reforms. “It will give us a breath to make the state reliable and restore social justice. The Greek people suffered but some did not pay their share,” he concluded, promising that this will be soon addressed.