ATHENS – French President Emmanuel Macron will speak on the Pnyx, the hill across from the Acropolis, where Ancient Greek assemblies were held 2500 years ago, and will reportedly back Greece’s efforts for help in recovering from a crushing economic crisis.
Macron will be in Athens Sept. 7-8 as Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras readies for a critical speech Sept. 9 at the Thessaloniki International Fair where he was to declare he is bringing the country to recovery after reneging on anti-austerity pledges.
On the Pnyx – where former US President Barack Obama hoped to speak before security worries ended that hope – Macron will speak to youngsters, students and teachers of the French language, the Athens News Agency reported.
Macron will meet Sept. 7 with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Tsipras, with whom he will discuss issues of bilateral and European issues before going up to the Pnyx and as some 2,000 police officers will be mobilized to protect him.
The speech will be followed by a visit to the French Archaeological School and a reception with the participation of the French community in the Greek capital.
During his visit, he will be accompanied by Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire, European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau and 40 businesspeople. About 140 French and Greek business leaders will have the opportunity to meet.
The aim is for the two sides to identify opportunities and difficulties in cooperation on sectors of great interest to France, such as energy, transport infrastructure and the environment. The French delegation will also include several startups.
Macron wishes to show that, as France supported Greece during the crisis, it will continue to do so during economic recovery, according to unnamed officials, ANA said. Tsipras is seeking debt relief from 326 billion euros ($389.38 billion) in three international bailouts but hasn’t gotten it.