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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

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.

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.