The timeless slogan “Greece -France, Alliance” was confirmed by the intra-day visit of French President Francois Hollande in Athens. Hollande’s visit shows the strong interest of French enterprises for privatization in Greece. The French President expressed to the prime minister its support for Greece’s efforts to overcome the crisis and he declares that “no other country has gone through such difficulties as Greece and we should give every support”.
This visit was mainly friendly. It clearly created expectations for a political-defense and economic cooperation between the two countries. The discussing issues were about energy, privatization and co-exploitation of deposits. Indeed, particular emphasis was placed on the significant issue of Greek EEZ. Ultimately, this visit was sealed with the signing of an agreement between the two countries for tourism.
However which is the symbolism of Hollande’s visit to Athens and what is the public reaction? Public opinion is divided. There are many opinions. On the one hand there are many who argue that “Greek-French” cooperation is a catalytic to attract other potential investors in Greece. On the other hand, of course, there are many that downgrade the symbolism and the importance of this visit in Athens.
Let’s first start with the optimistic supporters of the emerging alliance between Greece and France. It is proven that modern leaders negotiate the interests of the country and trying to promote its affairs. First, the strong support from France, a country with great economic, political and social influence, will contribute to the restoration of trust and confidence of Greece in foreign markets. Also, France will help Greece in the public administration and healthcare systems and the French Deposits and Loans Fund will participate in the Business Development Fund to assist the fluidity. These are two sections in which Greece faces serious problems. As mentioned above strong support will be given by France for the issue of Greek EEZ. This is very important for Greece as the country will have by its side one of the great powers, which exerts great influence in the European Union. In this way, Greece will have a powerful ally and could more easily assert those that belong. In an extremely difficult time for the Greek economy is very difficult, and impossible to ensure the necessary expertise in order to proceed with the mining of deposits. France therefore can provide such aid to Greece.
On the other hand, of course, a small percentage downgrades the visit of the French President Francois Hollande, by supporting that it didn’t have any immediate results.
In conclusion, in my opinion Greece is about “ravage” and “no ravage”, for this reason requires such investment initiatives which will enhance its credibility and help to get out of crisis. Therefore, as I belong to the majority of Hollande visit supporters, I think that there is nothing to lose. Instead, it is given a big opportunity to gain many positive elements in the interest of its people.
Undergraduate student at the University of Piraeus in International and European Studies.