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1.Market Observations

17 Nov 2012 (AFR, Economist) – France the elephant in the euro crisis room

[COMMENT: Could France become the next country to cause problems in the Euro crisis?]

(17 Nov 2012, AFR, p15)

The time-bomb at the heart of Europe

‘Why France could become the biggest danger to Europe’s single currency.’

‘THE threat of the euro’s collapse has abated for the moment, but putting the single currency right will involve years of pain. The pressure for reform and budget cuts is fiercest in Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy, which all saw mass strikes and clashes with police this week (see article). But ahead looms a bigger problem that could dwarf any of these: France.’

‘The country has always been at the heart of the euro, as of the European Union. President François Mitterrand argued for the single currency because he hoped to bolster French influence in an EU that would otherwise fall under the sway of a unified Germany. France has gained from the euro: it is borrowing at record low rates and has avoided the troubles of the Mediterranean. Yet even before May, when François Hollande became the country’s first Socialist president since Mitterrand, France had ceded leadership in the euro crisis to Germany. And now its economy looks increasingly vulnerable as well.’

Read more at Economist.com

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