French PM promises Greece more help with reforms

2016-06-03 22:45
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Athens - France's prime minister promised Greece on Friday more help in overcoming its financial crisis, with investment and assistance with administrative reforms.

Manuel Valls met Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras before the two countries signed agreements to continue France's assistance in reforming central and regional government.

Greece is hoping to restart its long-delayed privatisation programme after eurozone countries assured the country that they will continue to pay bailout money and will improve the repayment terms of past loans.

Valls' visit came a week after a trip to Greece by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said Russian companies were also interested in Greek privatisation projects.

France played a lead role last year in easing a dispute between rescue lenders and Tsipras' left-wing government that had threatened Greece's place in the eurozone.

"France used all its influence and all its weight ... to make sure that the Greeks remained in the large family of the eurozone," Valls said.

"To have the eurozone or [passport-free] Schengen area without Greece - that would be a different kind of Europe that we don't want"

Bailout lenders are expected on Monday to approve the next bailout instalments to Greece, worth $11.5bn.

Read more on:    france  |  greece

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