A nationwide news blackout greeted French President Francois Hollande as he arrived in Greece on Tuesday for his first visit there since taking office.
The entire media staged a one-day strike – not because of him – but over the country’s continuing austerity measures.
While German Chancellor Angela Merkel was greeted by 30,000 protesters on her visit last October, so far Hollande has not been met with any personal bad blood from the Greek people.
In a press conference with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in Athens, Hollande said:
“Confidence has now been reestablished in the euro zone and measures carried out in Greece have not gone unnoticed by the rest of Europe. Confidence must now come from investors, they must come wherever they are needed and at the moment that is to Greece. And there must also be confidence from consumers.
Samaras praised France for having helped Greece stay in the euro zone, despite its debt crisis. French banks Credit Agricole and Societe Generale did pull out though, and sold their Greek units to local players.
Hollande said he expected French companies to return, as many state firms are set to be privatised.