European Union must avoid rupture with Turkey, France's Macron says

Posted September 10, 2017

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.

Furthermore, asked about the IMF's role in Euro zone bailouts, such as the third consecutive program that Greece is still implementing, he offered a more diplomatic and finessed position than his boss, French President Macron, who repeated in Athens this past week that the Fund is more-or-less redundant in the Euro zone.

French President Emmanuel Macron paid his first state visit to Greece on September 7-8, calling for a stronger, more united Europe, noting that France plans to invest in Greece's economy.

But he is running into German resistance despite conciliatory public signals from Chancellor Angela Merkel. He called on French companies that have had a presence in Greece for years to "give new energy, new dynamism to investments in Greece".

"Our generation can choose to [do this]. we must find the strength to rebuild Europe", he said.

It also said Macron had expressed France's "solidarity" with Japan.

"Our eurozone must overcome a sort of internal civil war in which small differences are focused on, " Macron had said shortly before, in a joint press conference in Athens with Greek president Prokopios Pavlopoulos.

The IMF, alongside the European Union, has participated in two of Greece's three foreign bailouts since 2010 in exchange for unpopular austerity measures.

The IMF has said it will only contribute funds to the programme if European Union creditors take further steps to lighten Greece's debt load, which has yet to happen over strenuous objections by Germany. He reiterated that Athens should be granted debt relief and said he hoped the issue would be resolved in 2018 when Greece is due to exit its €86bn (£79bn) rescue programme. "We can achieve fiscal unification if we achieve political and economic integration", Tsipras said.