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France-Greece: Athens welcomes Hollande

Athens welcomes Hollande – Ilias Makris
I Kathimerini (Athens)

Contrary to what the government expected, Mr Holland did see Alexis Tsipras.

French President François Hollande visited Greece on Tuesday, February 19, and paid tribute to "Greek fiscal and structural reform efforts."

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras rejected any north-south divide in Europe, noting that "strong relations between Greece and Germany were complementary" to Greek-French ties. The Athenians did not protest against the French president's visit as they did during German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit last October.

Hollande's visit has largely gone unnoticed due to a 24-hour strike by journalists ahead of a general strike on February 20 against the new austerity measures imposed on the country in October in exchange for continuing financial assistance.