Greece

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France and Greece

Political relations

France’s relationship with Greece, which is very close politically, was enshrined in a strategic partnership in 2015. The French authorities played a crucial role in the summer 2015 talks around a third support programme. France continues to provide Greece with assistance for the implementation of the reforms and also provides assistance with the migration crisis.

Bilateral visits

  • Visit by the French Prime Minister, Mr Bernard Cazeneuve (2-3 March 2017)
  • Visit by the President of the French Republic (7 and 8 September 2017). President Macron’s first State visit
  • Visit by the Greek Prime Minister, Mr Alexis Tsipras to Paris (23-24 November 2017)
  • Visit by the Minister for European Affairs, Ms Nathalie Loiseau (8-9 February 2018)
  • Visit by the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian (6 September 2018).

Economic and trade relations

Despite the modest volume of trade (0.5% of our exports and 0.1% of our imports), Greece, with which we had a surplus of €823 million in 2016, represents our largest trade surplus in the eurozone and second-largest in the EU. It is our eighth-largest globally. France is Greece’s eleventh-largest customer and seventh-largest supplier, as well as its fourth-largest foreign investor.

Source: Directorate-General of the Treasury

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Our cooperation is built on four bodies: the French School in Athens, founded in 1847 and dedicated to Archaeology; the Institut Français of Thessaloniki, founded in 1907 and France’s longest-standing Institute abroad; the Institut Français of Greece and its branches in the regions; and the Eugène Delacroix French-Greek high school in Athens. This special relationship is based on a long-standing and deep-rooted Francophilia, as illustrated by Greece’s recent entry into the International Organisation of La Francophonie as a full member (September 2006). Our cooperation fosters innovation. A Franco-Greek business and innovation forum has been held twice in Athens (November 2016 and 2017).

Other cooperation

Faced with a considerable increase in illegal immigration affecting European security, Greece requested support from both the EU and from France. Under the 2015-2017 programme for resettlements from Greece to other EU Member States, 21,500 people have been transferred from Greece to other Member States, including 4,390 to France (second-largest recipient country after Germany).

Updated: February 2019