Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos (R) meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Presidential Mansion in Athens, Greece, on Jan. 11, 2019. Germany's support to Greece during the difficult bailout period from 2010 until August 2018, as well as in the post-bailout era, is support to the EU's cohesion, Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos said on Friday, welcoming German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Athens. (Xinhua/Marios Lolos)
ATHENS, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Germany's support to Greece during the difficult bailout period from 2010 until August 2018, as well as in the post-bailout era, is support to the EU's cohesion, Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos said on Friday, welcoming German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Athens.
"You supported in many ways Greece's course towards the exit of the painful period of the memoranda... By supporting Greece today you support the cohesion of the European Union and the eurozone," Pavlopoulos said before the camera of Greek national broadcaster ERT.
"We have great interest that Greece not only remains a member of the EU, but a strong member of the EU. Last year 4 million German tourists visited Greece. We are very interested. And of course we are glad that Greece was able to leave the programs behind," the German leader said on her part.
Germany will continue to support Greece in this new stage, she stressed, repeating the remark she made also on Thursday upon her arrival in Athens during the first meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
Speaking before the camera on Friday, both presidents also underlined the need that all EU member states join forces to face more common challenges, such as the migration-refugee issue and the threat of populist anti- European parties.
"In the upcoming elections let's prove we, the real Europeans, that we are ready to defend Europe and the European edifice," Pavlopoulos said.
Before departing from Athens on Friday afternoon, Merkel also laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Uknown Soldier in front of the Greek parliament and held talks with main opposition New Democracy party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis.