‘Merci la France’: Greek deal role earns Hollande flowers in Athens

By: | Published: July 17, 2015 6:27 PM

President Francois Hollande may be unpopular in France but there is a place where people are sending him thank you notes and flowers -- debt-choked Greece.

President Francois Hollande may be unpopular in France but there is a place where people are sending him thank you notes and flowers — debt-choked Greece.

“We have been receiving quite a few thank you letters, phone calls, flowers, presents. A grandmother sent a little china object asking us to send it to the President of the Republic,” France’s ambassador to Greece, Jean Loup Kuhn-Delforge, said.

“One bouquet had four simple flowers with a thank you note saying: Merci la France.”

The reason for this sudden popularity boost, which contrasts with widespread resentment in Greece for Germany, is France’s role in brokering a rescue deal for Greece in the early hours of Monday at a summit of euro zone leaders.

Participants in tense negotiations that led to Monday’s deal have said that French officials stepped in to play a key role over the past couple of weeks when a Grexit became a likely scenario, from advising Greece on how to draft its proposals to pushing for a deal at the EU summit.

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