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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.

Nov 25, 2011

Sarkozy, Merkel agree to stop sniping on ECB crisis

STRASBOURG, France (Reuters) – France and Germany agreed on Thursday to stop arguing in public over whether the European Central Bank should do more to rescue the euro zone from a deepening sovereign debt crisis.

President Nicolas Sarkozy and Chancellor Angela Merkel said after talks with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti that they trusted the independent central bank and would not touch its inflation-fighting mandate when they propose changes of the European Union’s treaty to achieve closer fiscal union.

Nov 24, 2011

Sarkozy to press Merkel on ECB after bond fiasco

PARIS/BERLIN, Nov 24 (Reuters) – French President
Nicolas Sarkozy will press German Chancellor Angela Merkel on
Thursday to let the European Central Bank act decisively to
rescue the euro zone from a deepening sovereign debt crisis now
hitting Germany.

French officials hope Berlin will relent in its opposition
to a greater crisis-fighting role for the ECB after Germany
itself suffered a failed bond auction on Wednesday, highlighting
how investors are now shunning even Europe’s safest haven.

Nov 24, 2011

France, Germany to show support for new Italian PM

PARIS (Reuters) – The leaders of France and Germany will voice their support for new Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti at a tripartite meeting on Thursday, seeking to stem the risk of the debt crisis gripping the heart of the euro zone.

The talks hosted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy in the eastern city of Strasbourg are due to discuss the reforms planned by former EU commissioner Monti to restore confidence in the euro zone’s third largest economy, as well as the bloc’s overall strategy for dealing with the crisis.

Nov 22, 2011

State guarantees could ease euro banking squeeze – BOI

PARIS (Reuters) – State guarantees for European banks’ medium-term debt, as under discussion, could help tackle a growing bank funding problem by allowing the European Central Bank to accept the bonds as collateral, the deputy head of the Bank of Italy said.

Fabrizio Saccomanni, director general of Italy’s central bank, also dismissed market talk that a yield of 7 percent on benchmark debt repayments represented a “point of no return” for the country’s finances, saying that in the past Rome had paid far higher rates.

Nov 21, 2011

Moody’s warns on French rating outlook

PARIS, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Moody’s warned France on
Monday that a sustained rise in its debt yields coupled with
weakening economic growth could harm its ratings outlook,
fuelling concern the euro zone’s second largest economy might
lose its AAA status.

Worries about a high fiscal deficit and banks’ exposure to
other troubled European sovereign debt have drawn France into
the firing line of the bloc’s crisis, despite the government’s
insistence it would do everything necessary to protect its top
rating.

Nov 17, 2011

ECB could lend to IMF for euro zone rescue -officials

BRUSSELS/PARIS, Nov 17 (Reuters) – Euro zone and
International Monetary Fund officials have discussed the idea of
the European Central Bank lending to the IMF, to provide the
fund with sufficient resources for bailing out even the biggest
euro zone sovereigns, officials said.

“Some discussions on this have taken place… It could be
one way of getting around the legal restrictions on the ECB,”
one official with knowledge of the talks said. A second official
said ECB lending to the IMF was being explored.

Nov 16, 2011

France needs tough reforms to halt debt spike

PARIS (Reuters) – With its ‘AAA’ credit rating hanging by a thread and an economy lurching back to recession, France faces the choice of driving through reforms that have eluded governments for decades or risk the debt crisis dragging it down.

France, which came under fire again in markets on Wednesday, has a far more robust economy than the likes of Greece or Portugal but a deficit running at nearly 6 percent of GDP, and heavy banking exposure to the euro zone periphery means it will come under mounting pressure the longer the crisis drags on.

Nov 16, 2011

Analysis – France needs tough reforms to halt debt spike

PARIS (Reuters) – With its ‘AAA’ credit rating hanging by a thread and an economy lurching back to recession, France faces the choice of driving through reforms that have eluded governments for decades or risk the debt crisis dragging it down.

France, which came under fire again in markets on Wednesday, has a far more robust economy than the likes of Greece or Portugal but a deficit running at nearly 6 percent of GDP, and heavy banking exposure to the euro zone periphery means it will come under mounting pressure the longer the crisis drags on.

Nov 16, 2011

France not facing slump; to protect AAA rating -FinMin

PARIS, Nov 16 (Reuters) – Finance Minister Francois
Baroin said on Wednesday that France was headed for a slowdown
not a recession and that the government was doing everything to
preserve its AAA credit rating, though he ruled out further
austerity measures.

France came under heavy fire on global debt markets on
Tuesday, pushing the premium on its borrowing costs over
benchmark German debt to euro era highs, amid fears that the
troubled currency bloc’s second largest economy was being sucked
into a debt spiral as its economy slowed.