Greece will meet all its obligations, President of Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos stated while welcoming French President Emmanuel Macron to the presidential mansion on Thursday. He underlined that Greece’s partners should also meet their commitments, particularly with regarding to ensuring the sustainability of Greece’s debt.
“In the context of the European order and of the European culture and on the basis of the rule pacta sunt servanda, we believe that our partners will deliver on their promises,” noted Pavlopoulos.
“I welcome you to Greece as someone who continues, on France’ side, the long and sincere friendship and close cooperation between our two countries. General De Gaulle, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing and Constantine Karamanlis have built strong bonds in the past between the two countries, said Pavlopoulos. He also expressed, on behalf of the Greek people, his deepest thanks that “France, the former French president Francois Hollande and you (Emmanuel Macron) have played a very crucial role with regard to Greece remaining in the EU and the inner core of the eurozone.
You are aware, however, that France’s stance is worthy of its historic role in terms of establishing the European edifice… Ensuring Greece’s presence in the eurozone has forged, at a very crucial moment, the unity of the European edifice. Greece can only imagine its future and its prospects as an inseparable part of the European Union; but the EU, also, would not be unable to defend its historic identity without Greece within its ranks.”
“Allow me” continued Pavlopoulos while addressing Macron, “to now speak about our common family, the European Union and France’s role on the path toward European integration. I am certain that during your tenure, France will fulfill its historic mission, as behooves it with regard to European integration, as well as in the role the EU should play on the international stage.
Pavlopoulos explained that France’s mission in terms of its role in the EU should mostly move on three axes. The first was the EU’s common foreign and security policy. In the face of growing international provocations, such as in the Middle East, North Africa and North Korea, the EU should immediately activate the mechanism that will form an effective foreign and security policy, he said. The second axis was growth in the EU and Eurozone, which must become sustainable and sufficient. This means the activation of the institutional pillars relating to the collective functioning of the Eurogroup, making full use of the role of the ESM in place of the IMF and, most importantly, protecting the European Central Bank. In this way, the ECB will be able to properly supervise the entire European banking system and, in addition, be able to deal with the burning issues of liquidity and public debt throughout the Eurozone, he added.
The third axis concerned the defence of the European Social State of Justice in order to counteract growing inequality in the EU and the growing influence of the far right. He noted a disastrous widening of inequalities and the risk of a rupture in the social fabric within EU countries, which unfortunately encouraged the rise of populist and even neo-Nazi groups.
Addressing Macron as he concluded his speech, Pavlopoulos said that the French president’s election “was a triumph against such anti-European formations, whose aim is to tear down the European edifice.”