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Feb 25, 2012

Euro zone decision on size of bailout fund seen delayed

MEXICO CITY, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Euro zone leaders may
not be able to meet international demands to ramp up their own
funds for bailing out the bloc’s debtors when they meet next
week because Germany is showing no sign of dropping its
opposition to the plan, euro zone officials said.

A bigger European fund is a condition for major non-European
economies before they lend more money to the International
Monetary Fund to provide an even bigger wall of cash to fight
the crisis that has already claimed three euro debtor countries
and now threatens the much bigger economies of Italy and Spain.

Feb 16, 2012

Sarkozy launches re-election bid with pledge to listen

PARIS (Reuters) – President Nicolas Sarkozy declared his candidacy for a second term on Wednesday, seeking to overturn a wide opinion poll deficit with promises to get the unemployed back to work and to listen more to French voters by calling referendums on reforms.

The conservative leader ended the wait to officially launch his campaign against Socialist frontrunner Francois Hollande by saying that, like a sea captain in a storm, he could not “abandon my post.”

Feb 15, 2012

France’s Sarkozy launches presidential election campaign

PARIS (Reuters) – President Nicolas Sarkozy formally declared his candidacy for a second term on Wednesday seeking to overturn a wide poll lag with promises to get the unemployed back to work and use referendums to consult the French people on reforms.

The centre-right president, who trails Socialist challenger Francois Hollande in opinion polls, ended weeks of speculation over the timing of his bid by saying that like a sea captain in a storm, he could not “abandon my post”.

Feb 15, 2012

France’s Sarkozy launches presidential election

PARIS (Reuters) – President Nicolas Sarkozy formally declared his candidacy for a second term Wednesday seeking to overturn a wide poll lag with promises to get the unemployed back to work and use referendums to consult the French people on reforms.

The center-right president, who trails Socialist challenger Francois Hollande in opinion polls, ended weeks of speculation over the timing of his bid by saying that like a sea captain in a storm, he could not “abandon my post.”

Feb 15, 2012

Analysis: German boom casts shadow over French election

PARIS (Reuters) – Germany’s booming economy has dominated the early exchanges in France’s presidential election campaign but President Nicolas Sarkozy and his Socialist rival draw very different lessons from across the Rhine.

While Sarkozy believes France must copy Germany’s painful budget cuts, wage restraint and labor market deregulation to boost prosperity, Socialist poll frontrunner Francois Hollande warns that such austerity could choke off a fragile recovery.

Feb 15, 2012

German boom casts shadow over French election

PARIS (Reuters) – Germany’s booming economy has dominated the early exchanges in France’s presidential election campaign but President Nicolas Sarkozy and his Socialist rival draw very different lessons from across the Rhine.

While Sarkozy believes France must copy Germany’s painful budget cuts, wage restraint and labour market deregulation to boost prosperity, Socialist poll frontrunner Francois Hollande warns that such austerity could choke off a fragile recovery.

Feb 15, 2012

German GDP drops, France edges up, periphery deep in gloom

BERLIN/PARIS, Feb 15 (Reuters) – Germany’s economy
contracted slightly in the last three months of the year while
France eked out an anaemic level of growth, suggesting the euro
zone may succumb to a mild recession with its high debtors still
deep in the mire.

German gross domestic product contracted 0.2 percent in the
fourth quarter, a slowdown from upwardly revised 0.6 percent
growth in the July-September period, data showed on Wednesday.

Feb 8, 2012

French deficit drops, auditor urges stronger action

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s central government slashed its budget deficit last year by a third thanks to the end of one-off spending measures, the budget ministry said on Wednesday, but state auditors said much tougher austerity measures were needed to hit EU targets.

The central government’s 2011 shortfall came in at 90.8 billion euros, 4.5 billion euros better than forecast in last year’s budget, meaning France should comfortably beat its overall state deficit target for last year of 5.7 percent of GDP.

Feb 6, 2012

France, Germany press for Greek debt escrow account

PARIS (Reuters) – France and Germany called on Monday for Greece to hand over into a protected account the interest it pays on its debt to ensure it meets commitments to creditors.

Days after German proposals for external surveillance of Greece’s budget caused outrage in Athens, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged the creation of the escrow account, which would wrest control of some bailout funds from Greece’s hands.

Feb 6, 2012

Greeks delay bailout talks as Merkel demands action

ATHENS/PARIS (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Greece on Monday to make up its mind fast on accepting the painful terms for a new EU/IMF bailout, but the country’s political leaders responded by delaying their decision for yet another day.

Failure to strike a deal to secure the 130 billion euro rescue – much of which Germany will fund – risks pushing Athens into a chaotic debt default which could threaten its future in the euro zone.