French President Hollande heads to Athens as Greece seek debt relief

ATHENS, Greece – French President Francois Hollande is heading to Athens for a two-day visit, as Greece seeks help from European rescue lenders for relief on its massive bailout debts.

Hollande, joined by French business executives and Finance Minister Michel Sapin, was due to arrive later Thursday.

Greece is undergoing another inspection from bailout negotiators, before they agree to back new loan payouts and plans for a bank rescue.

Left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has credited the Hollande administration with helping Athens reach a third bailout agreement this summer and avoid a euro exit.

After an expected dip back into recession this year, Greece’s debt is expected to rise above 190 per cent of its gross domestic product in 2016.

Some 2,500 police officers will provide security during the president’s visit.