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Dec 23, 2011

France, UK issue clashing advice on breast implants

PARIS (Reuters) – France and Britain issued conflicting advice on Friday to tens of thousands of women caught up in a scandal over French-produced breast implants that were made with cheap industrial silicone and exported around the world.

The French government urged 30,000 women in France to seek removal of the implants, made by now-defunct company Poly Implant Prothese (PIP), because of the danger they could rupture and cause inflammation and irritation. There was no evidence of any increased cancer risk, it said.

Dec 23, 2011

France recommends removal of suspect breast implants

PARIS (Reuters) – The French government urged 30,000 women in France on Friday to seek removal of defective breast implants that a now-defunct company exported worldwide but it said there was no evidence that the product raised the risk of cancer.

The government said public healthcare funds would be used to finance the removals, which were recommended because of the risk of ruptures that could cause inflammation and irritation, at a cost which health officials estimated at 60 million euros.

Dec 22, 2011

French breast implant fears spread around world

LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) – Fears over the safety of silicone breast implants made by a now defunct French firm spread to Australia, South America and across Europe on Thursday as French officials prepared to decide if thousands of women should have their implants surgically removed.

The silicone gel implants, made by a company called Poly Implant Prosthese (PIP) which was shut down in 2010, appear to have an unusually high rupture rate and have sparked an investigation in France into possible links to cancer.

Dec 7, 2011

Reuters poll: Economists see France losing AAA in 3 mths

PARIS (Reuters) – France will lose its AAA credit rating early next year regardless of last-ditch efforts by President Nicolas Sarkozy to resolve the euro zone crisis at an EU summit this week, a Reuters poll of economists showed on Wednesday.

The snap survey of 13 economists found that 11 of them think France will be downgraded by one of the major ratings agencies within the next three months.

Dec 7, 2011

Economists see France losing AAA in 3 months: Reuters poll

PARIS (Reuters) – France will lose its AAA credit rating early next year regardless of last-ditch efforts by President Nicolas Sarkozy to resolve the euro zone crisis at an EU summit this week, a Reuters poll of economists showed on Wednesday.

The snap survey of 13 economists found that 11 of them think France will be downgraded by one of the major ratings agencies within the next three months.

Dec 7, 2011

Geithner to see Sarkozy, urge decisive euro action

PARIS, Dec 7 (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary
Timothy Geithner meets French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris
on Wednesday to press for decisive steps towards resolving
Europe’s deepening debt crisis as the region’s leaders prepare
for a crucial summit this week.

Geithner voiced strong support for a Franco-German blueprint
for an overhaul of the European Union (EU) treaty during a visit
to Berlin on Tuesday, after credit rating agency Standard &
Poor’s fired a second warning shot at the bloc in 24 hours by
threatening to cut the credit rating of its EFSF rescue fund.

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’s basic 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 that
fail to keep their deficits under control, and an early launch
of a permanent bailout fund for euro states in distress.

Dec 5, 2011

Paris, Berlin push for EU treaty change by March

PARIS (Reuters) – The leaders of France and Germany said on Monday they would push for EU treaty change by March to introduce closer fiscal union and sanctions for countries flouting deficit limits in a bid to shore up confidence in the euro zone.

President Nicolas Sarkozy said after talks with his German counterpart Angela Merkel in Paris that he hoped their plan would win backing from all 27 EU members at a summit this week but otherwise the 17 states of the euro zone would press ahead with a separate treaty.

Nov 29, 2011

Germany lays claim to ECB’s top economics post

BRUSSELS, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Germany made a pitch on
Tuesday to have its candidate take the job of chief economic
adviser at the European Central Bank, hoping to head off a
French contender who some economists see as more qualified for
the post.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said his deputy,
Joerg Asmussen, was the ideal candidate to take charge of the
ECB’s economic portfolio when he joins the central bank early
next year, a job that could be central in shaping the bank’s
response to the euro zone’s sovereign debt crisis.