Macron: France will continue to support Greece

Posted September 10, 2017

The European Union must avoid any break in relations with Turkey, an "essential" partner on migration and terror issues, French President Emmanuel Macron said while beginning a two-day visit to Greece on Thursday.

Elected in May, the French leader is trying to reshape and strengthen the euro currency bloc by creating a euro zone finance minister and parliament, as well as a stand-alone budget to cushion against economic shocks and head off future crises.

At the same time, he repeated Macron's view that the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) has evolved into an institution that can assume the IMF's role in the Euro zone.

The French presidency said North Korea's "repeated provocations" were a "threat to peace and global security". "We were, we are and we will be here", he said, underlining that this bond will continue to be strong. The intellectual who also takes the opportunity to express his skepticism about the reform of the labor code, the first major project of the president's mandate: " Any continuing decline in unemployment in France would be welcome, but the experience of other countries suggests that this would involve new forms of inequality.

He said he would unveil a "road map" for the EU in a few weeks, after Germany's September 24 election, and wanted European leaders to agree before the end of the year to launch public debates in the first half of 2018 during which citizens will be able to discuss their vision for the bloc.

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In June the International Monetary Fund demanded that Greece adopt more austerity measures in 2019 and 2020, after the current bailout program expires in August 2018.

"We are at the right move in this direction whereby Europe will be able to resolve its own problems without necessarily seeking support from third parties", he said.

"Today we can say with certainty that the country is turning a page", Greek premier Alexis Tsipras said in his address at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre.

Greece and the International Monetary Fund have often crossed swords over Greece's fiscal progress, its economic targets and unpopular reforms in the labor market.