Macron, in Greece, pushes for deeper eurozone integration

French President Emmanuel Macron arrives at ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Athens Thursday Sept. 7 2017. Macron arrived in Greece Thursday for a two-day visit during which he was expected to outline his vision for the future of the European Uni

French President Emmanuel Macron delivered an ambitious vision for how the European Union should reform, but used the opportunity to lash out the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for its role during the euro zone debt crisis.

On the second day of his official visit to Greece, flanked by around 40 French entrepreneurs, Macron was expected to repeat his interest in France investing in Greece's recovery.

Macron wants a giant leap forward in European cooperation, pushing for the creation of a euro zone finance minister and parliament, as well as a standalone budget for the currency bloc to cushion economic shocks and head off future crises.

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He also used a visit to Greece, which almost crashed out of the euro zone in 2015, to call for an easing of Athens' debt burden. The leading expert of the european policy of the Atlantic, who from the title of his editorial that announces the color: "Emmanuel Macron will be yet another failed french president " (" Emmanuel Macron will be yet another French president to fail").

With its own EMF, Europe would be less reliant on the Washington-based International Monetary Fund, a key player in successive Greek bailouts.

"Our generation can choose to [do this]. we must find the strength to rebuild Europe", he said. He praised Greece's austerity reforms but said ordinary Greeks had paid a heavy price.

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

In the press conference later with PM Alexis Tsipras, Macron underscored that "the Greek crisis has always been a European one".

"In order not to be ruled by bigger powers such as the Chinese and the Americans, I believe in a European sovereignty that allows us to defend ourselves and exist", Macron said at the top of the hill of Pnyx, with the spectacular backdrop of the Parthenon temple in the sunset.

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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Greece planned to exit its worldwide bailout next August, putting an end to years of crisis and uncertainty.


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