France's Macron urges greater European investment in Greece

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Greek authorities have issued a ban on protests in central Athens during an upcoming visit by French President Emmanuel Macron.

At the same time, he repeated Macron's view that the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) has evolved into an institution that can assume the IMF's role in the Euro zone.

"We should head towards a European Monetary Fund but this should in no way be mixed up with a (euro zone) budget", Macron told Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos. "I have always defended the IMF in worldwide discussions, but intervening in European Union crises and programs is not its first vocation, " he said, expressing the hope that the European Union could set up its own monetary fund to help prevent crises so that it would not have to make recourse to global ones. The intellectual who also takes the opportunity to express his skepticism about the reform of the labor code, the first major project of the president's mandate: " Any continuing decline in unemployment in France would be welcome, but the experience of other countries suggests that this would involve new forms of inequality.

Greece's economy is showing signs of rebounding after a deep recession that shrank it by a quarter, boosting hopes it can emerge from years of financial bailouts.

Macron said his roadmap involved holding public debates during the first half of 2018 on the future of Europe and in the long run on pan-EU elections to a parliament of the 19-nation eurozone.

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Euro zone governments in June approved another 11th-hour credit line for Greece worth almost US$10 billion (RM42 billion) after the International Monetary Fund said it would in principle join the country's current bailout having hesitated for two years.

Turning to Greece, Macron said the handing of the Greek debt crisis has been a European failure underlining the need for a revival of the EU.

Greece's third rescue programme, now financially supported by European Union states alone, runs to August 2018.

"We are at the right move in this direction whereby Europe will be able to resolve its own problems without necessarily seeking support from third parties", he said.

"We are absolutely ready and determined to move in this direction and I'm certain our lenders have the same approach of avoiding hurdles and delays", Tsipras said.