France supports the Greek reform drive to overcome the economic crisis, allocating 30 million euros ( 40.3 million U.S. dollars) for Greece's Institute for Growth, visiting French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said in Athens on Friday.
The announcement was made after a meeting with his Greek counterpart Gikas Hardouvelis at the Greek Finance Ministry.
In statements to the press both officials noted that the second half of 2014 will be decisive for the course of Greek and European economies, stressing the need to strongly boost growth after years of painful recession.
"Development in Greece and France will be feasible only if European policy is refocused on recovery ... Therefore, we will support the Greek government's initiative for the establishment of an Institute for Growth," Sapin said.
Greece's development fund was launched this spring along the lines of the German state-owned development bank KfW aiming to help financing of small and medium-sized businesses. Germany has also contributed to the institute.
On his part, Hardouvelis thanked Sapin for France's friendship and solidarity with Greek people and stressed the need for investments on a European level.
The Greek official expressed confidence that Greek economy is returning to growth, noting that Greece sticks to the reform path.
Hardouvelis also expressed Greek peoples' condolences to the families of the French nationals who lost their lives in the latest air tragedy of the Algerian Airlines AH 5017 flight.