Chief Correspondent France
Catherine's Feed
Dec 7, 2011

Geithner to see Sarkozy, urge decisive euro action

PARIS (Reuters) – The leaders of France and Germany will not leave this week’s EU summit until a “powerful” deal is reached on the euro zone debt crisis, the French government said on Wednesday while Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner urged bold steps.

Geithner, on a whistle-stop tour of Europe to demand dramatic action, voiced confidence in a Franco-German plan to overhaul the EU treaty after Standard & Poor’s warned it could cut credit ratings across the currency bloc, including the EFSF rescue fund, a move which would fundamentally weaken it.

Dec 6, 2011

S&P downgrade threat a clarion call for euro reform

PARIS/BERLIN (Reuters) – A threat by Standard & Poor’s to slash credit ratings across the euro zone has sounded a clarion call, which could help Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel force through a change to the European Union treaty at a summit this week.

The French president and German chancellor are determined to change European rules to impose mandatory penalties on countries that exceed deficit targets, aiming to restore market confidence and prevent a sovereign debt crisis spiralling out of control.

Dec 6, 2011

S&P piles pressure on EU budget plan

PARIS/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Standard & Poor’s has warned it may carry out an unprecedented mass downgrade of euro zone countries if EU leaders fail to deliver a convincing agreement on how to solve the region’s debt crisis in a summit on Friday.

The ratings agency’s threat to downgrade 15 countries all the way up to AAA-rated Germany and France came hard on the heels of a Franco-German initiative, to be discussed on Friday, to enforce budget discipline across the 17-member zone through EU treaty changes.

Dec 6, 2011

S&P piles pressure on Franco-German EU plan

PARIS/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Standard & Poor’s has warned it may carry out an unprecedented mass downgrade of euro zone countries if EU leaders fail to deliver a convincing agreement on how to solve the region’s debt crisis in a summit on Friday.

The ratings agency’s threat to downgrade 15 countries all the way up to AAA-rated Germany and France came hard on the heels of a Franco-German initiative, to be discussed on Friday, to enforce budget discipline across the 17-member zone through EU treaty changes.

Dec 5, 2011

S&P piles pressure on Franco-German EU budget plan

PARIS, Dec 5 (Reuters) – The leaders of France and
Germany agreed a master plan involving treaty change on Monday
to impose budget discipline across the euro zone as a top rating
agency piled on pressure for a rapid solution to the EU debt
crisis.

Standard & Poor’s said it had told 15 of the 17 euro zone
countries, including Germany, France and four others with the
top AAA credit rating, that it might downgrade them en masse
within 90 days, depending on the outcome of a crucial EU summit
on Friday.

Dec 5, 2011

Franco-German budget plan demands EU treaty change

PARIS, Dec 5 (Reuters) – The leaders of France and
Germany agreed a master plan on Monday for imposing budget
discipline across the euro zone, saying the EU treaty will need
to be changed in the search for a sweeping solution to its debt
crisis.

President Nicolas Sarkozy and Chancellor Angela Merkel said
their proposal included automatic penalties for governments
which fail to keep their deficits under control, and an early
launch of a permanent bailout fund for euro states in distress.

Dec 5, 2011

Sarkozy, Merkel kick off week of euro crisis talks

PARIS, Dec 5 (Reuters) – French President Nicolas
Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel meet in Paris on
Monday under pressure to align their positions on centralising
control of euro zone budgets to stem a debt crisis that
threatens Europe’s currency union.

After individually outlining their views last week on closer
fiscal integration, the two leaders must overcome remaining
differences to fine tune proposals they want to present to EU
leaders in Brussels on Thursday, on the eve of a summit.

Dec 4, 2011

Sarkozy, Merkel kick off week of crisis talks in Paris

PARIS, Dec 5 (Reuters) – French President Nicolas
Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel meet in Paris on
Monday under pressure to align their positions on centralising
control of euro zone budgets to stem a debt crisis that
threatens Europe’s currency union.

After individually outlining their views last week on closer
fiscal integration, the two leaders must overcome remaining
differences in order to fine tune proposals they want to present
to EU leaders in Brussels on Thursday, on the eve of a summit.

Dec 2, 2011

Germany’s Merkel fights for euro, Cameron for UK

PARIS/BERLIN (Reuters) – British Prime Minister David Cameron threatened on Friday to obstruct a Franco-German drive for swift change to the European Union’s treaty, a sign of the difficulty leaders will face transforming Europe to to save the euro.

France and Germany are reaching a consensus that euro zone economies need to be bound more closely together if the single currency is to survive, which could mean changing the EU treaty to give Brussels powers to punish spendthrift euro states.

Dec 2, 2011

Sarkozy lays 2012 campaign base with Toulon speech

PARIS (Reuters) – President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is staking his re-election on persuading voters he can nurse the economy back to health, has torn into France’s bloated welfare state as he lay foundations for a 2012 campaign based on restoring competitiveness.

In a speech to the nation late on Thursday that analysts saw as paving the way for his candidacy next year, Sarkozy blamed an outdated social model and the limitations of the 35-hour work week introduced by the left for holding France back.

    • About Catherine

      "Catherine is chief correspondent for Reuters France, in charge of political and macroeconomic news, with a focus for 2011 on the G20 presidency, euro zone debt crisis and 2012 election campaign. She has reported from 16 countries for Reuters -- most recently in Latin America as a senior correspondent in Mexico City -- on stories ranging from the Haiti earthquake to the Beijing Olympic Games."
      Languages:
      English, French, Spanish
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