The leaders of Greece and France have met at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Monday to discuss the current energy crisis in Europe, as well as increasing tensions with Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Speaking at a press conference prior to their working dinner, Greece’s Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and France’s President, Emmanuel Macron, reconfirmed the strong bilateral ties between both countries.
“We are stronger together,” Mitsotakis said with reference to the multi-level partnership signed between Greece and France almost a year ago to boost cooperation between both countries in the sectors of defense, geopolitics, and economy.
The Greek Prime Minister also stressed that Greece and France are coordinating to find a European solution to increasing energy prices internationally due to the current Ukraine-Russia war.
Mitsotakis recalled his government’s recent proposals for putting a price cap on natural gas, and decoupling the price of electricity from that of natural gas.
“I think the European Union now has the opportunity to respond in a coordinated manner to Moscow’s attempt to turn energy into a weapon,” Mitsotakis said.
On the topic of Turkey’s recent provocations towards Greece, Mitsotakis thanked Macron for his support in the face of rising tensions.
“We respond to challenges with readiness, and to those who threaten us and who say that they will descend upon our islands suddenly one night, we say that we are waiting for them in the light of day, where it will be visible who has International Law on their side,” the Greek PM said.
For his part, Macron expressed his satisfaction with France and Greece’s cooperation in the fields of defence and security, and called statements and provocations against Greece’s territorial integrity “unacceptable.”
The French President emphasised France’s full support for Greece and said that “the cooperation between the two countries comes from afar – and goes a long way ahead.”
Macron also expressed his country’s gratitude to Greece for its practical help in dealing with the unprecedented wildfires that hit France this year.