Europe risks subjugation to China and the United States unless it becomes more sovereign and democratic, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday in a speech underlining the scale of his ambition to reform the European Union.
Macron, who wants a giant leap forward in European cooperation, pressed for greater financial solidarity towards the bloc's more vulnerable members.
Macron was in Athens for a two-day visit, accompanied by 40 business executives from companies including Total and Vinci in a trip created to encourage investment and show goodwill towards a country which is emerging from a multi-year recession.
He also used a visit to Greece, which almost crashed out of the euro zone in 2015, to call for an easing of Athens' debt burden.More news: Fischer resigns from Federal Reserve Board
"Our generation can choose to [do this]. we must find the strength to rebuild Europe", he said.
Greece has been financially burdened since 2010 when it signed its first economic bailout deal with global creditors.
Macron promised a road map for the rebuilding of the European Union in the coming months, arguing that nations sticking together inside the European Union was the only way to protect citizens against problems including climate change and terrorism.
In a forum of vitriol written by a professor specialized in european policy, the New York Times, which last may saw yet in the new French head of State " a new hope for Europe ", judge already Emmanuel Macron as " a president missed ".More news: Pliskova Into US Open Quarterfinals After Rout of American Brady
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Greece planned to exit its global bailout next August, putting an end to years of crisis and uncertainty.
The IMF has typically stuck to a "two-line" approach regarding Greece: The organization believes there is a need to keep undertaking structural reforms to make the Greek economy competitive, while also implementing some form of debt relief for long-term sustainability.
Europe, he added, needed to create institutions to resolve future crises without having to turn to "third parties" such as the International Monetary Fund for financial support.
Greece and the International Monetary Fund have often crossed swords over Greece's fiscal progress, its economic targets and unpopular reforms in the labor market.More news: South Korea says no 2nd quake in North Korea