Investment strategy correspondent, London
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Jun 4, 2013

IMF tells France to step up reforms, rein in spending

PARIS, June 4 (Reuters) – France must lower labour costs,
open up regulated professions, deepen its labour and business
reforms and cease tax hikes to get back to growth and bolster
competitiveness, the IMF said on Tuesday.

A day after slashing its growth forecast for Germany, the
International Monetary Fund said that France was set to contract
slightly more than its current forecast and that unemployment
would keep rising in spite of the government’s promise to
reverse the jobless trend by year-end.

Jun 4, 2013

IMF tells France to step up reforms and contain public spending

PARIS, June 4 (Reuters) – France must step up reforms to
liberalise its economy and lower labour costs to get back to
growth and improve its competitiveness, the International
Monetary Fund said on Tuesday.

The IMF said the euro zone’s second-largest economy would
start turning around in the second half of the year. On Monday,
it halved its 2013 forecast for number one economy Germany based
on uncertainty in other euro zone economies, including
neighbouring France.

May 31, 2013

Record unemployment, low inflation underline Europe’s pain

BRUSSELS/PARIS (Reuters) – Unemployment has reached a new high in the euro zone and inflation remains well below the European Central Bank’s target, stepping up pressure on EU leaders and the ECB for action to revive the bloc’s sickly economy.

Joblessness in the 17-nation currency area rose to 12.2 percent in April, EU statistics office Eurostat said on Friday, marking a new record since the data series began in 1995.

May 30, 2013

French jobless total hits new record, in blow to Hollande

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande said on Thursday he was sticking to a target of cutting down unemployment by year-end, after fresh data showed that the number of jobless hit a new all-time high in April.

In a stark illustration of the challenge facing the Socialist president, the 3,264,400 registered job seekers in April marked two uninterrupted years of monthly rises and a 1.2 percent increase on March.

May 28, 2013

Germany fears revolution if Europe scraps welfare model

PARIS (Reuters) – German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble warned on Tuesday that failure to win the battle against youth unemployment could tear Europe apart, and dropping the continent’s welfare model in favour of tougher U.S. standards would spark a revolution.

Germany, along with France, Spain and Italy, backed urgent action to rescue a generation of young Europeans who fear they will not find jobs, with youth unemployment in the EU standing at nearly one in four, more than twice the adult rate.

May 28, 2013

Germany sees “revolution” if welfare model scrapped

PARIS, May 28 (Reuters) – German Finance Minister Wolfgang
Schaeuble warned on Tuesday that failure to win the battle
against youth unemployment could tear Europe apart, while
abandoning the continent’s welfare model in favour of tougher
U.S. standards would cause “revolution”.

Germany, along with France and Italy, backed urgent action
to rescue a generation of young Europeans who fear they will not
find jobs, with youth unemployment in the EU standing at nearly
one in four, more than twice the adult rate.

May 28, 2013

Germany, France and Italy urge youth jobs plan

PARIS (Reuters) – Europe must urgently tackle youth unemployment, the French, German and Italian governments said on Tuesday, urging action to rescue an entire generation who fear they will not find jobs.

Ministers called for a mixture of measures including helping small companies and boosting apprenticeships.

May 27, 2013

S&P says France must deliver promised budget cuts to protect rating

PARIS (Reuters) – France needs to deliver promised budget cuts if it wants to avoid a further credit rating downgrade, Standard & Poor’s lead analyst for France told Reuters on Monday.

S&P, which stripped France of its coveted AAA rating in January 2012, could confirm the current AA+ rating if the public debt ratio looked set to stabilize, but analyst Marko Mrsnik says it remains to be seen if France can achieve that in 2015.

May 23, 2013

ECB can’t solve euro zone crisis alone: Weidmann

PARIS (Reuters) – Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann said on Thursday it was not up to the European Central Bank to solve the euro zone crisis, resisting pressure from other ECB policymakers for the bank to widen its range of policy tools.

Speaking in Paris, Weidmann declined to comment on U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s remarks that the U.S. central bank may start to trim its bond purchases at one of its next policy meetings.

May 17, 2013

ECB to keep monetary policy loose for as long as needed

ORLEANS, France (Reuters) – The European Central Bank will keep its loose and growth-supportive monetary policy stance in place for “quite a long time”, ECB executive board members said on Friday.

With the euro zone economy stuck in recession, the ECB cut its main refinancing rate to a record low of 0.5 percent and extended its provision of unlimited funds to banks by a year at its May policy meeting,