French President Hollande to push growth in Greece

LONDON (ShareCast) - French President François Hollande is set to meet up with Greek officials on Tuesday in Athens in his first visit to the country since the bailout caused by the European sovereign debt crisis.

Hollande, who won the elections in France based on his push to prioritise growth over austerity, is expected to be much better received than was the case with German Chancellor Angela Merkel back in October when the Greeks shut down Athens in protests to imposed austerity measures. Worth noting, the country's first general strike of the year is scheduled for Wednesday.

Indeed, Hollande showed his support for growth in the Hellenic Republic yesterday in an interview with the Greek newspaper Ta Nea, saying "I reject a Europe that condemns countries to austerity without end".

Greece continues to be mired in recession for the sixth consecutive year as it struggles to comply with austerity measures imposed by its bailout agreement with international creditors.

Hollande is scheduled to meet with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras at 10:00 London time before being joined by coalition leaders Evangelos Venizelos of PASOK and Fotis Kouvelis from Democratic Left for a working lunch at 11:20 GMT.

JM