French Businesses Pump Up Talk About Heavy Investments in Greece

French businessmen, icluding the CEOs of Total and Vinci, who are accompanying president Macron on his official visit to Athens, are pumping up negotiations for a series of investment in Greece.

Total expects approval from the Greek parliament by the end of the year to explore for oil off the western coast of Greece, the French company’s chief executive told a Greek newspaper.

Greece and a consortium made up of Total, Italy’s Edison and Hellenic Petroleum have signed a lease agreement to search for oil and gas in the Ionian Sea.

“We expect ratification of the agreement by Greece‘s parliament by the end of the year to start work,” Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne told Ta Nea newspaper.

Meanwhile, France’s Vinci, which holds stakes in two major Greek toll motorways and operates one of the world’s longest multi-span cable-stayed bridges, is also considering participating in new concession projects in the country.

In an op-ed in Ta Nea newspaper, the CEO of Vinci‘s concessions arm Nicolas Notebaert said the French firm had expressed an initial interest in the long-term lease of Egnatia Motorway, a major trade route connecting east and west Greece.

Vinci and Alstom have also teamed up with Greek firms to express an interest in expanding the Athens metro.