French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing arrived in Athens on Wednesday (17 September) to begin the first official visit to Greece by a foreign head of state since the restoration of democratic rule last year.
SV Giscard steps down from aircraft and greeted by President Tsatsos and Prime Minister Karamanlis
SV President and Mme. Giscard meeting officials
GV Guard of honour
SV Giscard meeting diplomats
SV People clapping
TRAVEL SHOT Cavalcade escorts President's car through streets (2 shots)
Initials BB/1630 EW/AW/BB/1700
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Background: French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing arrived in Athens on Wednesday (17 September) to begin the first official visit to Greece by a foreign head of state since the restoration of democratic rule last year.
Accompanied by his wife, the President was greeted at Athens airport by Greek President Constantine tsatsos and Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis--a close friend of the French leader from his days of self-exile in France during the rule of the military junta.
During his three-day visit, President Giscard will have a series of talks with Greek leaders. The main topic is expected to be a request for further French arms supplies to Greece. France has already sold 40 Mirage jets and 130 AMX-30 tanks as well as helicopters and missile-firing boats to Greece over the past year. The talks will also cover the Greek bid to join the European Common Market, the Cyprus problem and membership of N.A.T.O. -- the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
Relations between Greece and France have been good since the fall of the junta. President Giscard has repeatedly emphasised France's backing for Greece over Cyprus...and is expected to be asked for support in the Greek dispute with Turkey over oil exploration rights and air space in the Aegean. French finance has already assisted the Greek economy with big investments, including oil prospecting in the Aegean.