France's prime minister has arrived in Greece amid tight security for a two-day visit expected to focus on economic cooperation.

Manuel Valls is due to meet Greece's figurehead president, Procopis Pavlopoulos, later Thursday. On Friday, he will hold talks with left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Police sealed off a chunk of central Athens on Thursday to allow Valls to lay a wreath at the Unknown Soldier's Tomb outside Parliament.

Greek officials hope French companies will show interest in the country's massive privatization drive, which is a key condition of the debt-crippled country's bailout program.

France is one of the European nations contributing to Greece's bailout programs.