Greece and France share the same views on Europe’s future, Alternate Min Katrougalos says

Greece and France largely share the same views regarding the future of Europe and their bilateral cooperation, Alternate Foreign Minister George Katrougalos said on Friday, in statements after his meeting with French Minister for European Affairs Nathalie Loiseau.

“It is not chance that Greece and France are strategic allies and have a traditionally deep and substantial bond,” Katrougalos said in joint statements with his French counterpart after a meeting of the French and Greek delegations in Athens.

Now that Greece is returning to normality “we must do a lot to change Europe, to make it more social, more democratic and closer to its citizens,” noted Katrougalos, adding that it was not a coincidence that French President Emmanuel Macron chose to come to Greece for his first official visit as President and to express his dream for Europe’s future.

Katrougalos said that the debate on EU”s future should reach its citizens, through a mechanism of broader dialogue. In this context, he underlined, the strategic relations between the two countries were reaffirmed and they both agreed to continue to closely collaborate for the EU’s convergence by combatting the huge inequalities within and between the EU member-states. The also agreed to jointly promote new policies, while they indicatively referred to the digital economy.

On her part, Loiseau noted that she had come to Athens six months after the visit of the French president to Greece. “For us it’s an important year, both for Greece and for the European Union. For Greece because there will be an important evolution of the situation of Greece this summer and growth has come back to the country. And for the future of the EU because we are discussing the next European budget, we are discussing new priorities and I am delighted to confirm that the position of France and the position of Greece are very similar on most of the issues that we discussed,” she said.

She also noted that Greece and France have similar positions on a number of issues adding that “we are working together within the European Council, we have frequent discussions in Brussels when we meet and we insist on very similar views very often. It’s important that the voice of Greece is fully heard within the EU”.