German president in Greece to open art exhibition

April 7, 2017
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his Greek counterpart Prokopis Pavlopoulos, not pictured, review the Presidential Guard during a welcome ceremony at the Presidential palace in Athens, Friday, April 7, 2017. Steinmeier is in Greece on a two-day official visit. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has begun a two-day visit to Greece where he will open an art exhibition being co-hosted by the two countries.

Steinmeier met Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos on Friday and held talks with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Ties between Greece and Germany have been strained on occasion in recent years over the austerity measures demanded of Athens in return for bailout loans that have averted a Greek bankruptcy.

Progress over Greece’s bailout program appears to have been made Friday at a meeting of finance ministers in the Maltese capital of Valletta. Greece needs its next batch of bailout cash to avoid going bankrupt this summer.

Steinmeier and Pavlopoulos — whose roles are both largely ceremonial — will inaugurate the Documenta art exhibition in central Athens on Saturday.

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