President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson met President of France François Hollande at the Elyseé Palace in Paris yesterday. The presidents discussed increased collaboration in Arctic regions, harnessing green energy, the economic crisis in Europe and Iceland’s experience in dealing with the financial crisis.
Hollande expressed interest in the success Iceland has achieved following the banking collapse in 2008. Ólafur Ragnar explained that the Icelandic government had tried to spare the welfare, healthcare and education systems, as stated on the website of the Presidential Office.
The presidents agreed that the relations between their countries should continue to be based on trade and widespread cooperation in the fields of culture and art.
Ólafur Ragnar also mentioned the potential of harnessing geothermal energy in France, which will be the topic of a conference held by the French-Icelandic Trade Council later this week.
After the meeting, Ólafur Ragnar visited both houses of the French Parliament and met with the Iceland division of French MPs presided by Lionel Tardy.