Sunday, November 13, 2011

La France est attraper le froid européen?

Is France catching the European cold?

There are legitimate worries in France that it will not be able to ward off the debt crisis that has engulfed some of its European brethren. The Sydney Morning Herald explores why.
The ''spread'' or gap between French and German 10-year bond yields has never been higher, as investors skip over France and invest in its safer neighbour, and the government's borrowing costs are rising.
France now pays 3.46 per cent interest on its bonds, more than twice as much as Germany, although still about half as much as Italy does - for now.
At stake is France's coveted ''AAA'' credit rating. Any downgrade would be a humiliation for Mr Sarkozy six months before he is due to seek re-election, and a blow for European leaders in their battle to save the euro.
''After Greece and Italy, France?'' worried Le Monde's Friday headline, over a stark graphic showing France's €1.7 trillion debt just short of Italy's €1.9 trillion and dwarfing Europe's €1 trillion bailout fund.
The Wall Street Journal expands on the debt crisis by taking a look at what it could mean to many European citizens.

Ironically, despite the worries, Mr. Sarkozy has gained in recent days in the polls, although Business Week makes clear that the president continues to trail Socialist leader Francois Hollande.
French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s approval rating rose 8 points in a month to the highest since February 2010 following his reaction to Europe’s sovereign debt crisis, a CSA poll for Les Echos showed.

The proportion of French voters who have confidence in Sarkozy to deal effectively with the country’s problems expanded to 40 percent, according to the poll published in the French newspaper today.
And the Atlantic adds that President Sarkozy's ability to handle the looming debt crisis could be the deciding factor in next April's election.

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