efe-epaAthens

The president of France on Friday urged business people from his country to invest in Greece and help it out of the economic crisis rather than searching for investment opportunities outside of Europe, as he met with entrepreneurs in Athens.

Emmanuel Macron, alongside Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, met with business leaders from Greece and France on the second day of his official state visit to the country.

"Greece is coming out of the crisis," he said, assuring that Paris would continue supporting Athens and urging French entrepreneurs to do the same.

Tsipras agreed, saying that his country was finally beginning to turn the page after seven years of an economic crisis that brought to light Europe's shortcomings and created a very negative situation for Greece.

In this new era, he said, a more creative future had to be designed that did not have the distortions of the past.

As a sign that things were changing, the Greek PM cited the drop in unemployment to 21.2 percent, a number he said was still unacceptable for a European country and eurozone member, but was a first step for avoiding a brain drain.

In parallel to this meeting, the Greek economy and development minister, Dimitri Papadimitriou, and the president of French investment bank Bpifrance, Nicolas Dufourq, signed a memorandum of understanding for the creation of a Greek development bank.

The aim of this state finance entity, which is expected to be established next year, is to fund infrastructure projects, entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises, as well as companies that work in the exporting market.