French leader calls for eurozone overhaul in Athens

French leader calls for eurozone overhaul in Athens
# 07 September 2017 22:50 (UTC +04:00)

French President Emmanuel Macron Thursday said Europe should cooperate more in order to be able to tackle future problems as he called on the EU to “ease the burden” of Greece’s sovereign debt while calling for an overhaul of the eurozone, APA reports quoting Anadolu agency.

The French president arrived in Athens Thursday for an official two-day visit, accompanied by his wife and a large delegation of businesspeople.

“If we continue to turn a blind eye we will be the generation responsible for Europe’s death and we have to start with a tough self-criticism,” Macron said.

“If we back down, somebody else will take our place. There is no other continent that defends democracy, freedom and the economy, but there are forces that are not committed to social rights,” he said.

Athens has long called for debt relief, a demand opposed by Berlin.

In a joint news conference, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Macron agreed the IMF should have a less important role in European issues.

Regional developments as well as the refugee crisis and Turkey were also discussed.

“It is necessary to maintain the stability and determination in the messages sent by the EU to Turkey," Tsipras said.

“Turkey's accession course is of particular value to Europe, to the Turkish people, but also to the promotion of democratic reforms in Turkey,” he added.