France and Greece

Greece’s Investments and Development Minister, Adonis Georgiadis met with representatives of French banks in Paris on Wednesday and discussed the possibility of co-financing of large projects and small and medium-sized enterprises, following the reactivation of French banks in Greece.

Representatives of Credit Agricole, HSBC, Societe Generale and Banque Publique d’ Investissement (BPI) attended the meeting.

On the same day, Greece and France signed a joint declaration on economic partnership in Paris following a meeting of the Greek government delegation with their French counterparts.

The declaration was signed by Greece’s Finance Minister Christos Staikouras, Development and Investments Minister Adonis Georgiades and French Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire, at the forum “Greece, a strategic partner in SE Europe: Confidence returns”, held by the Greek-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Declaration of Intent points to the strengthening of cooperation in the economic sector, in order to capitalise on growth opportunities and promote the development of mutual investments.

The key points of this declaration can be summed as follows, said Staikouras, with a common intent to:

  • Intensify the investment of French companies in Greece.
  • Support the investment of Greek companies in France.
  • Continue and also broaden the scope of bilateral technical cooperation in strategic areas for economic growth and competitiveness.
  • Support the Hellenic Development Bank.
  • Facilitate the selection of Greek and French companies and also financial institutions that will participate in the Greek-French cooperation.
  • Develop an expanded R&D partnership in strategic areas in the two countries in partnership with the private sector.
  • Strengthen Greek-French cooperation in the field of climate and the environment.
  • Develop cooperation in tourism.
  • Strengthen both countries’ positions on the EU’s future Common Agricultural Policy.
  • Work for the creation of a digital education institution in Greece and support the creation of local ecosystems in the digital sectors.
  • Enhance the transfer of existing know-how and the development of new technical expertise in the areas of green budgeting and green finance, in order to achieve the objectives of the European Green Pact.
  • Ensure the follow-up of the cooperative actions undertaken under this statement, through regular meetings, while maintaining regular contacts between the business communities.

The Greek Finance Minister also praised France’s firm and assertive stance concerning the geopolitical tensions in the eastern Mediterranean and also the country’s continued support to Greece.

He said that the famous motto “Greece-France-Alliance” (Ellas, Gallia, Symmachia) which he called “very familiar among Greeks,” comes from Frances “political and diplomatic support to Greece during the restoration of democracy in 1974,” a level of support which Staikouras said was “proven so important during the recent global financial crisis.”

A.C.

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