End Times and Current Events

General Category => Europe => Topic started by: Psalm 51:17 on November 19, 2011, 03:44:31 pm

Title: Watch France
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 19, 2011, 03:44:31 pm


France's far-right candidate pushes exit from euro

..PARIS (AP) — The head of a French far-right party who is running for president has unveiled her vision for the country, including an exit from the euro and a tightening of border controls.

As she spoke to hundreds of cheering supporters in Paris on Saturday, Marine Le Pen remained vague on the details of her plan, trotting out instead the traditional promises of her Front National party: a preservation of family values, the fight against immigration and a rejection of globalization.

She was particularly vague about her economic policies — saying only that she would reveal her "plan for vigor" in January.

Le Pen, who inherited the leadership of the Front National from her father, has said she wants to broaden appeal for her party, known for its anti-immigration, anti-Islam views.


Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 24, 2011, 08:58:10 am
Rating agencies prepare groundwork for new series of cuts
24 November 2011, London (ShareCast)

On wednesday, ratings agency Fitch reiterated its triple-A rating for France with a stable outlook.

However, it warned that ratings were at risk of a downgrade in France as well as the Eurozone in general.

The ratings agency explained that France absorbed most of the margin available to withstand adverse market situations without risking a rating downgrade.

Similarly, Fitch's rival, Standard & Poor's (S&P), warned that sovereign debt ratings in the region could be at risk if large parts of the currency bloc moved back into recession, something the market is beginning to discount.

"The financial dynamics unleashed by the ongoing confidence crisis, in Standard & Poor's view, have heightened the risk of renewed recession in a growing number of eurozone members that potentially could put additional downward pressure on (the) euro area's sovereign ratings," S&P stated

Standard & Poor's maintains that with so much at stake, one would expect "some accommodation can be found between eurozone monetary authorities and national policy makers that balances substantive government policy actions with more aggressive steps by the ECB to counter a renewed economic downturn." S.C.

Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 24, 2011, 09:24:29 am
France and Germany to propose changing EU treaties



STRASBOURG, France (AP) — President Nicolas Sarkozy appeared to temper his calls for the European Central Bank to play a bigger role in solving Europe's debt crisis as he agreed to a German effort to unite the troubled 17-nation eurozone more closely.

Speaking after meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Premier Mario Monti on Thursday, Sarkozy said "propositions for the modification of treaties" would be presented in the coming days.

He wouldn't elaborate on what these changes may be but said they would be ready in time for the next EU leaders summit on December 9. Treaty changes are a notoriously laborious endeavor, requiring the agreement of all 27 EU nations, including non-euro countries such as Britain and Poland.

Merkel said the treaty changes would "make clear that we must take steps toward a fiscal union to express the conviction that we know policies must be more closely coordinated if you have a common, stable currency."

"It is political confidence in Europe that has been lost — we can only win it back politically," Merkel said.

This was the first meeting of the three leaders since Monti took over last week following mounting market concerns over Italy's huge debt, which stand at euro1.9 trillion ($2.6 trillion), or a huge 120 percent of economic output. Europe's current anti-crisis measures are too not big enough to deal with Italy's debt mountain.

Sarkozy said the three leaders had agreed to meet again "very soon" in Rome at Monti's invitation to continue their three-way dialogue.

The meeting in Strasbourg, France comes amid signs that even Germany and France — the eurozone's two biggest economies — are not immune from the crisis that's already seen three relatively small countries bailed out.

All three leaders said they would do what it takes to stabilize the situation and save the euro.

"We want the euro, we want a strong, stable euro ... we will do everything to defend it," Merkel said.

France has been reluctant to resort to changes to EU treaties to improve the way the eurozone countries work together and set policies and prevent future crises. Germany had pushed for such changes, saying voluntary pledges by national governments are no longer enough to boost market confidence.

Merkel insisted that the proposed changes would "not deal with the European Central Bank," which she stressed was responsible for monetary, not fiscal, policy. Sarkozy did not push for a greater role at their closing press conference, while Merkel insisted on the bank's independence.

"In the treaty changes, we are dealing with the question of a fiscal union, a deeper political cooperation ... there will be proposals on this, but they have nothing to do with the ECB," Merkel said.

Many think the ECB is the only institution capable of calming frayed market nerves and Merkel's continued dismissal of a greater ECB role knocked market sentiment and stocks all round Europe were trading lower once again.

Potentially, the ECB has unlimited financial firepower through its ability to print money. However, Germany finds the idea of monetizing debts unappealing.

Merkel also maintained her opposition to the European Commission's new drive for eurobonds.

Germany has opposed the use of eurobonds and has long called on fiscally wayward member states to clean up their own houses with as little outside intervention as possible. A big worry for Germany is that its low borrowing costs would get diluted if eurobonds came into issue and it would then be forced to pay higher rates to tap bond markets.

"It would be completely the wrong signal to lose sight entirely now of these differing interest rates, because they are a pointer to where something still needs to be done and where we need to go further," she said.

Monti, meanwhile, reiterated his pledge to balance Italy's budget by 2013 though he sidestepped the question on whether achieving that aim would require more austerity measures, and if so, whether it risked triggering a recession in the eurozone's third largest economy.

Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 02, 2011, 10:27:30 pm
Sarkozy: Austerity alone will lead to recession
1 December 2011, by Christopher Noble - San Francisco (MarketWatch)

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Thursday that using austerity alone to solve the economic crisis afflicting France and the rest of Europe would lead to recession and possibly even depression.

He said such an approach would make the French people pay nearly the whole cost of trying to recover from the crisis.

"It would end in recession or depression," Sarkozy said in a speech in the southern French city of Toulon.

Sarkozy said that cuts and economic reform were necessary but were only part of what were needed to help Europe emerge from its sovereign debt crisis.

Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 07, 2011, 09:17:27 am

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.

The only question, following this week's blanket euro zone credit warning by Standard & Poor's, is whether France will be cut by one notch to AA+ or by two to a straight AA.

"If you apply Standard and Poor's methodology based on quantitative factors, France should already have a AA rating, as should the U.S. and Britain," said Jean-Christophe Caffet, economist at investment bank Natixis.

read more

Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 17, 2011, 09:40:03 am
Fitch Revises French Outlook To Negative
16 December 2011, by Tyler Durden (Zero Hedge)


We spoke to soon: it appears suicide is painless after all, as Fitch just changed the French outlook to negative.

The punchline: "The Negative Outlook indicates a slightly greater than 50% chance of a downgrade over a two-year horizon."

As for the line that will finally shut up France in its diplomatic spat with the UK:

"Relative to other 'AAA' Euro Area Member States, France is in Fitch's judgement the most exposed to a further intensification of the crisis."

And now, the market shifts its attention to non-French rating agencies, who will downgrade France in a "slightly" shorter timeframe... more like 2 hours according to some rumors.

Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 25, 2011, 10:48:34 pm
France revises down third quarter GDP growth
23 December 2011, by Louise Armitstead (The Telegraph)

The turmoil of the eurozone crisis hit the French economy harder than first thought forcing a revision of the country’s third quarter growth figures down to 0.3% from 0.4%.

Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 13, 2012, 04:17:16 pm


France loses top credit rating, govt says

PARIS (AP) — The French finance minister said Friday that Standard & Poor's had stripped the nation of its top-notch credit rating, again throwing Europe's ability to fight off its debt crisis into doubt.

Speaking on France-2 television, Finance Minister Francois Baroin confirmed that France had been lowered by one notch. That would mean a rating of AA+, the same rating the United States has had since S&P downgraded it last August.

Baroin said France had received a change to its rating "like most of the eurozone," referring to the 17 European nations that use the euro currency, but there was no confirmation from S&P that any other nation had been downgraded. S&P had warned 15 European nations in December that they were at risk for a downgrade.

A credit downgrade would escalate the threats to Europe's fragile financial system and raise the costs at which the affected countries — some of which are already struggling with heavy debt loads and low growth — borrow money.


Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 16, 2012, 02:49:09 pm

France urges Europe to battle 'unprecedented' crisis
By Nadege Puljak | AFP – 1/16/12

Europe faces an "unprecedented" crisis and must rediscover growth, French President Nicolas Sarkozy warned Monday, even as markets shrugged off a credit-rating blow to much of the region.
European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi also warned the eurozone was "in a very grave state of affairs" and urged reducing reliance on ratings agencies.
Sarkozy, the first foreign leader to meet with Spain's new conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, said the eurozone must improve competitiveness to boost growth as well as simply slashing spending.
"We are confronted by an unprecedented crisis that forces us to cut spending, lower our deficits but also to find the path to new growth by resolving our competitiveness problems," Sarkozy said.


Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 16, 2012, 04:19:58 pm
Moody's: France triple-A rating under pressure
16 January 2012, by Barbara Kollmeyer - Madrid (MarketWatch)

The stability of France's triple-A debt rating is under growing risk from levels of debt and problems elsewhere in the euro zone, said Moody's Investors Service in a statement on Monday.

France was downgraded by Standard & Poor's last Friday, losing its triple-A rating.

Reiterating its stance on France, Moody's said: "The deterioration in debt metrics and the potential for further contingent liabilities to emerge are exerting pressure on the stable outlook of the French government's Aaa debt rating.

The French government now has less room for maneuver in terms of stretching its balance sheet than it had in 2008."

It added that on the external side, the fiscal consolidation process across its trading partners is also a potential drag on growth.

Moody's said that as it indicated in October, France's rating remains under review and it will update the market during the first quarter of 2012.

Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on April 23, 2012, 12:39:17 pm
Yes, these elections in all of these worldly governments are rigged, however, from what I've been reading, IF these so-called elections don't go along as "they like"(or lack thereof), per se, then this could be in the final straw for the global economy to collapse...b/c (supposedly)Sarkozy is needed back to continue to work alongside with Germany and everyone else(instead of some "new guy"). Greece needs elections to "run smoothly" or else(word is that the Greek citizens are upset and may not want to partake in the upcoming elections).

Again, they are rigged, and if Sarkozy, for example, "loses", then likely it wasn't by chance et al...

Sarkozy lost French election due to economy
23 April 2012  Hollande takes lead into second round.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy faces an uphill struggle in the second round of the presidential election, after coming second in Sunday's first vote.
He won 27.1% of the vote, while his Socialist rival Francois Hollande took 28.6%, the first time a sitting president has lost in the first round.

The two men will face each other in a second round of voting on 6 May.
Third-place Marine Le Pen took the largest share of the vote her far-right National Front has ever won, with 18%.
The BBC's Christian Fraser in Paris says Mr Hollande's narrow victory in this round gives him crucial momentum ahead of the run-off in two weeks' time.

Analysts suggest Mr Sarkozy, leader of the ruling centre-right UMP, will now need to woo the far-right voters who backed Ms Le Pen if he is to hold on to the presidency. But Mr Hollande remains the front runner.
Around one in 5 people voted for the National Front candidate, including many young and working class voters, putting her ahead of seven other candidates.

Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 01, 2012, 04:15:18 pm

Sarkozy fighting for his future, likely to lose
By ANGELA CHARLTON and SYLVIE CORBET | Associated Press – 5 hrs ago.

PARIS (AP) — President Nicolas Sarkozy is the underdog, and he knows it. Not a single poll has predicted he will win re-election on Sunday, and leading figures in his government are already lining up new jobs.

In televised interviews, Sarkozy's on the defensive and paints himself as a victim. At campaign rallies, he's boxer-like, punching the air, torso soaked with sweat within minutes of taking the podium. He relishes the combat, but after he leaves the stage, his face drains of color, his features lined with fatigue.

The dynamic French leader made his mark on the world arena but let down voters at home, and may well be out of a job within days.

Always the fighter, Sarkozy could confound pollsters and pull off a victory. At a sunny Paris rally in front of the Eiffel Tower on Tuesday, he looked more like the triumphant Sarkozy of the 2007 campaign.

But his challenger in Sunday's runoff vote, Socialist Francois Hollande, is sounding increasingly confident, and his campaign rallies already feel like victory parties.

Even as the field of challengers has shifted throughout the campaign, Sarkozy has never climbed above second place in the polls.

In a surprising admission for the 57-year-old career politician, Sarkozy has acknowledged that he's thinking about possible defeat and says he would quit politics if he loses.

"I will fight with all my strength to win your confidence, to protect and lead you and build a strong France, but if that is not your choice I will bow out. That's the way it is, and I will have had a great life in politics," Sarkozy said on RMC radio. "I'll do something else. I don't know what."

It's not over yet. Sarkozy scored 27 percent of the vote in the first round of presidential elections April 22, to Hollande's 28 percent.

Sarkozy may pick up more support from voters who handed far right candidate Marine Le Pen a surprisingly strong third place.

And Sarkozy may get a last-minute boost from the final televised debate of the campaign on Wednesday night. Sarkozy has a sharp tongue and strong verbal sparring skills, while the jovial Hollande has been flustered in some recent appearances.

But millions of French voters are determined to prevent Sarkozy from winning a second term, and polls predict Hollande could win by as much as a 12-percent margin.

Sarkozy came into office in 2007 promising dramatic changes to France to better compete with emerging economies like China. After an initial wave of labor reforms, Sarkozy's presidency was hit with the world financial meltdown, Europe's debt crisis and France's worst recession since World War II.

His momentum appeared to fizzle, and he became seen as too friendly with CEOs while France faces near-10 percent unemployment and sluggish economic prospects.

"Without workers, there would be no bosses," said Christine Delorme, a 57-year-old factory worker marching Tuesday at a leftist May Day rally in Toulouse, one of many union-led marches around France. "I'm here to say no to Sarkozy, the president of the rich. We don't want that anymore."

Sarkozy entered this presidential campaign on the back foot, and met obstacle after obstacle.

Reports surfaced that Libya's Gadhafi regime offered to finance Sarkozy's 2007 campaign. Critics compared Sarkozy to France's Nazi occupiers. Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn suggested his political career was destroyed by Sarkozy's cronies.

Sarkozy enjoyed a boost after his confident handling of the manhunt for a gunman who killed Jewish schoolchildren and paratroopers in March.

But he spent much of his campaign time denying, dismissing or denouncing criticism lobbed his way. He says the media is lined up against him and regularly accuses his critics of lying.

"What's troubling in all this is the evasion, it's the hypocrisy, it's the lies," he said, again, Monday.

His campaign team and aides officially refuse to talk about a plan B. But two of his aides have taken new jobs in recent weeks, along with three senior figures in leading government ministries. Some are staying in public service in less political roles, others are taking research or academic jobs.

Satirical puppet show "Les Guignols de l'info" has already made its election prediction: Its episode on Sunday showed first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, an Italian heiress and former supermodel, packing a suitcase for Switzerland, to avoid the 75-percent tax on very high incomes that Hollande has promised to impose.

Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 05, 2012, 05:59:13 pm
France on verge of 1st Socialist leader in 20 years

PARIS (Reuters) - Overseas voters cast early ballots on the eve of an election expected to make Francois Hollande France's first Socialist leader in two decades, despite polls showing President Nicolas Sarkozy clawing back some ground.
Sunday's election, which coincides with parliamentary polls in Greece, may prove decisive for Europe as Hollande has pledged to temper a German-led austerity drive and reorient the recession-stricken euro zone towards growth.
A limited number of voters cast ballots in advance of Sunday in places far from the French mainland, including Brazil, Canada and North America in addition to the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique.
Sarkozy, who became the first sitting president of modern times to finish second in a presidential first-round vote, must overcome high disapproval rates of his abrasive style.
If he did win, it would be a political sensation after a whirlwind campaign by the man many voters blame for stubbornly high unemployment, running at a 12-year high of nearly 10 percent, and a stagnant economy.
Sarkozy spent most of Saturday at home in Paris with his wife, former supermodel Carla Bruni, while Hollande visited a market in Tulle, a town in the central French Correze department that has been his political fiefdom for a quarter of a century.
"I am nervous, anxious for victory," Hollande told a Reuters television reporter, as he shook hands with stall holders and kissed female well-wishers. "The inhabitants of Tulle won't miss me ... They will be reassured to have me as president."
Sarkozy made an impassioned final plea to France's 46 million voters on Friday, saying the election's outcome was balanced on a "razor's edge". He warned that a Socialist victory could send the euro zone's second-largest economy spiraling into rising deficits and debt like Greece.
Final polls before a mandatory media blackout on campaigning from midnight on Friday showed the 57-year-old conservative leader, an aggressive campaigner, cutting Hollande's lead to just four points from around 10 a few weeks ago.
"On Sunday, anything is possible" left-leaning Liberation said on its front page, noting that while Hollande remained the clear favorite, Sarkozy was catching up fast.
The election campaign was knocked sideways by a shock performance by National Front candidate Marine Le Pen, who came third in the April 22 first round with 18 percent of votes, prompting Sarkozy to shift his campaign rhetoric to the right.
The president received a double setback this week when Le Pen refused to endorse him, saying she preferred to cast a blank vote, and centrist candidate Francois Bayrou, who came fifth in the first round with 9 percent, said he would vote for Hollande.
In a scathing personal attack, Bayrou accused Sarkozy of betraying the principles of the Republic by courting the far right with anti-European and anti-immigrant rhetoric.
On the quiet streets of Paris, passersby on Saturday said the vote was likely to be much closer than many had expected.
"Unfortunately, Sarkozy still has a chance of winning," said Amandine, a young woman shopping in central Paris. "There are a lot of people who are still undecided. They haven't made up their minds, so it could be him."
Right-wing Le Figaro newspaper contrasted Sarkozy's steady reduction of France's deficit in recent years with what it said were Hollande's plans to raise taxes and spending.
"The election of the president of the Republic is not a beauty contest to find the nicest candidate," it said in an editorial. "You choose a president for his ability to wield power, not his conviviality."
Hollande silenced many critics - who had questioned his character and lack of ministerial experience - with a strong performance in the only presidential debate on Wednesday. While most commentators had expected the aggressive Sarkozy to win, several polls showed viewers found Hollande more convincing.
Campaigning in the heartlands of the National Front, in Moselle in northeast France, Hollande criticized what he said were Sarkozy's divisive tactics and warned his supporters against complacency.
"I want a large victory," he told RTL radio on Friday. "The French must give the winner the means to act. Do not leave a hobbled victor who will have problems from the day after the vote."
Voting began on Saturday in the north Atlantic islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, just off the coast of Canada, and was due to begin later in the day in several other French overseas territories.
Polls in mainland France were due to open on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (0600 to 1600 GMT), with voting stations in big cities remaining open two hours longer.
The first official results will be released after the last voting booths close at 8 p.m.
The prospect of a victory for Hollande - who would be the first Socialist head of state since Francois Mitterrand left office in 1995 - has alarmed some investors. He has pledged to raise taxes on big companies and the rich and to temper a German-inspired drive for austerity in Europe.
But French 10-year bond yields slipped below 2.9 percent on Friday - their lowest level since October - suggesting there is no panic about Hollande. He has recently stressed he would quickly pass laws to balance the budget by 2017 if elected.
Merkel's government has appeared increasingly relaxed at the prospect of a Hollande victory since he made it plain he would not seek to change the essence of a German-backed budget discipline pact signed by 25 EU leaders last month.
"We will work closely together with France no matter what happens in the election," German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Friday.
If elected, Hollande would seek to lay the foundations of a new Franco-German consensus on growth and smooth bilateral relations on his first trip to Berlin, his campaign manager Pierre Moscovici has said.


Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 06, 2012, 03:30:55 pm
French President Sarkozy admits defeat in presidential bid


By NBC News and news services

Updated at 4:16 p.m. ET: French President Nicolas Sarkozy has conceded defeat in France's presidential elections, saying he called challenger Francois Hollande to wish him "good luck" as the country's new leader.

Sarkozy thanked his supporters Sunday and said he did his best to win a second term, despite widespread anger at his handling of the economy.

He said "I take responsibility ... for the defeat."
Sarkozy faced voters' anger over austerity Sunday in a presidential run-off expected to replace him with Socialist rival Francois Hollande, with far-reaching consequences for efforts to fight Europe's debt crisis.


Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 07, 2012, 12:26:48 pm

92.8% of French nationals in Israel voted Sarkozy

Israeli who made aliyah says Hollande's victory won’t encourage French Jews to make aliyah. 'Possibility of making a decent living does not exist in Israel,' he says

Shachar Hai, Neri Brenner Published:  05.07.12, 10:21 / Israel News 

Socialist Francois Hollande won the second and decisive round of France's presidential election on Sunday, but French nationals residing in Israel voted overwhelmingly for ousted French leader Nicolas Sarkozy.

Official results show that 92.8% of French nationals residing in Israel voted for Sarkozy (9,186).


Title: Hollande wants to end dollar era, will clash with US
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 07, 2012, 09:01:07 pm

May 7, 2012

Francois Hollande has defeated Nicolas Sarkozy in the French presidential runoff, making him the latest EU leader to be swept aside by the crippling debt crisis.

Among the first steps the President-elect is planning, is to push back against German-led austerity measures.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has already invited Hollande to Berlin for talks.

Asia Times roving correspondent, Pepe Escobar, says clashes over Hollande's foreign policy are expected both in Europe and overseas.

Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 07, 2012, 09:23:54 pm
Will New French President Challenge Germany?


May 7, 2012 - The Real News

Mark Kesselman: The big question is whether Mr. Hollande will be a lion or the mouse that roared

S&P: No immediate election impact on France rating
7 May 2012, by William L. Watts - Frankfurt (MarketWatch)

Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on May 15, 2012, 01:20:58 pm

Lightning hits French president's plane, none hurt

PARIS –  Socialist Francois Hollande took over as France's president Tuesday and jetted off to Berlin hours later for talks on Europe's debt crisis — only to have his plane struck by lightning. No one was hurt.
It was a startling beginning for a man who promised to be a more "normal" president, and less flashy than his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy, who was ousted by voters after a single term for his handling of a stagnant economy plagued by joblessness.
After a succession of rain-drenched and pomp-filled ceremonial inauguration events, Hollande took off in a Falcon 7X aircraft for Berlin. The plane was hit by lightning shortly afterward, and returned to the Villacoublay air base outside Paris as a precaution for inspection, Defense Ministry spokesman Gerard Gachet said.
Defense officials say the president and his entourage were transferred to another aircraft, a Falcon 900, and left shortly thereafter. That made Hollande about an hour and a half late for his first meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/05/15/lightning-hits-french-president-plane-none-hurt/#ixzz1uxoPok1g

Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 06, 2012, 01:35:56 pm


France to lower retirement age for some workers

PARIS (AP) — France's new Socialist government moved Wednesday to lower the retirement age from 62 to 60 years old for certain workers, bucking the trend in developed countries in a gesture to unions that critics say is a costly mistake.

Governments from North America to Europe have been pushing retirement ages higher and higher in recent decades, as people are living longer and spending more years on state-sponsored pension checks.

Raising France's general retirement age from 60 to 62 years old was a key reform of conservative former President Nicolas Sarkozy. The 2010 measure was aimed at reducing heavy government debts as Europe sunk into a continent-wide debt crisis — and many economists said it didn't push the retirement age high enough.

New President Francois Hollande, who unseated Sarkozy last month after riding a wave of voter anger at austerity measures, pledged during his campaign to reconsider the retirement reform.


Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 07, 2012, 10:07:35 am
French Unemployment Rate Climbs as Hollande Grapples With Cuts
7 June 2012, by Mark Deen (Bloomberg)

France’s unemployment rate rose in the first quarter as companies eliminated jobs in the face of faltering economic growth, posing a challenge to newly elected President Francois Hollande.

About 10.0% of the population was unemployed, up from 9.8% in the previous three months, according to International Labour Organization standards, national statistics office Insee in Paris said today.

Excluding France’s overseas territories, the rate was 9.6%, compared with a median forecast of 9.5% in a Bloomberg News survey of five economists.

With some of France’s largest companies such as Air France- KLM, PSA Peugeot Citroen and Carrefour SA looking to reduce costs, labor unions are pressing Hollande to make good on a campaign promise to prevent a wave of firings.

Bernard Thibault, leader of France’s CGT union, estimated last week that 45,000 French jobs are at risk in the coming months.

“The labor market is still fundamentally very weak,” said Dominique Barbet, an economist at BNP Paribas in Paris.

French jobless claims rose for a 12th month in April, with the number of people actively looking for work rising by 4,300 to 2.89 million, the Labor Ministry said on May 30.

Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 14, 2012, 05:37:58 pm
As Christians, we shouldn't fear, obviously - but nonetheless this is the first time in our lifetimes we're witnessing countries around the board getting their ratings cut like this.

Luk_21:28  And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

Egan Jones Cuts France To BBB+, Outlook Negative
14 June 2012, by Tyler Durden (Zero Hedge)

The next Egan Who target is France, which was just cut from A- to BBB+.

EURUSD tumbles, unlike what happens when Moody's or S&P downgrades.

Synopsis: For the most part, over the past 18 months France has been exempted from the rise in funding costs.

However, as the crisis evolves, we expect that France will be pressured.

The deterioration in France's credit metrics combined with the needed supported for France's banks are likely to pressure the country.

A major catalyst is likely to be charges for the weakened periphery countries.

Hollande will be under pressure to keep campaign promises which will ultimately hurt credit quality.

Title: France Joins Germany to Sell T-Bills At Negative Yield
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on July 09, 2012, 02:38:53 pm


France joined a handful of euro-zone countries Monday in selling short-term debt at negative interest rates as investors seek alternatives to expensive German and Dutch debt.

Earlier in the day, Germany's six-month borrowing costs again turned negative at an auction, after the European Central Bank slashed its key policy and deposit rates to unprecedented levels last week.

The negative yield at Monday's German auction, the lowest on record in this maturity segment, means that investors effectively pay the ...

Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Kilika on July 09, 2012, 04:28:50 pm
Huh? A negative interest rate? How do you buy a debt with a negative interest rate? Wouldn't that mean the loan costs you each month instead of pay you? Or does it work out for the borrower a prograssive reduction in their payment?

Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on July 09, 2012, 04:49:07 pm
Huh? A negative interest rate? How do you buy a debt with a negative interest rate? Wouldn't that mean the loan costs you each month instead of pay you? Or does it work out for the borrower a prograssive reduction in their payment?

Yeah, sounds like they are very desperate. Of course, Christians should look up as these things are coming to pass, our redemption draweth nigh.

Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Mark on September 28, 2012, 08:19:21 am

 :o   :o   :o


French Ministers: 'Unavoidable'... http://www.france24.com/en/20120928-french-government-unveils-tax-slash-2013-budget-hollande-recession-austerity

EUROZONE INFLATION RISES TO 2.7%... http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_EUROPE_ECONOMY?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-09-28-06-46-37

Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 14, 2012, 05:51:32 pm


Anti-austerity marches turn violent across southern Europe

MADRID/LISBON (Reuters) - Demonstrations turned violent in Spain and Portugal after millions took part in a mostly peaceful general strike on Wednesday in organized labor's biggest Europe-wide challenge to austerity policies since the debt crisis began three years ago.

In Lisbon, marches ended with a level of violence not seen since the crisis began, with police charging demonstrators who hurled stones and bottles, leaving nearly 50 people hurt.

Protesters in Madrid burned rubbish bins, filling the central boulevard with smoke, while in Barcelona demonstrators burned police cars.

Riot police fired rubber bullets to disperse protesters in both cities, where more than 140 people were arrested, including two said by police to be carrying material to make explosives, while more than 70 were reported injured.

Hundreds of flights were cancelled, schools were shut, factories were at a standstill and trains barely ran in Spain and Portugal where unions held their first joint general strike. Stoppages in Belgium interrupted international rail services.

Workers also protested in Greece and France against austerity policies that have taken a heavy economic toll and aggravated mass unemployment.


Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 20, 2012, 10:01:37 am
This is BIG b/c those 3-6 month T-bonds that have been 100% risk-free all of these years are NO LONGER THAT. Remember last year America lost its AAA rating. Can't remember other countries that have done so, but I just read the UK is on the verge of that as well.

When Jesus Christ says the borrower is a slave to the lender, and to not be indebted to no man, but love one another, HE MEANT IT. Don't think these 3-6 T-bonds were super-nice investments all of these years(it was going to come to an end, eventually).

Moody's strips France of its triple-A rating
19 November 2012, by Sue Chang - San Francisco (MarketWatch)

Moody's Investors Service on Monday lowered France's sovereign rating by one notch to Aa1, stripping the country of its coveted triple-A rating.

"France's long-term economic growth outlook is negatively affected by multiple structural challenges, including its gradual, sustained loss of competitiveness and the long-standing rigidities of its labor, goods and service markets," said Moody's in a statement.

The ratings agency also expressed concern over France's uncertain fiscal outlook and noted that its resilience to future euro-shock is becoming more difficult to predict.

The rating outlook remains negative.

Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 18, 2012, 09:29:22 pm
Axa Downgraded by S&P on Investments, European Economy
18 December 2012, by Zachary Tracer (Bloomberg)

Axa SA, France’s largest insurer, was downgraded by Standard & Poor’s as the economic slump in Europe weighs on results.

The insurer’s credit rating was cut to A- from A as “unfavorable investment market conditions and weak economic prospects are likely to dampen AXA group’s earnings growth,” the ratings firm said yesterday in a statement on the Paris- based company.

European nations have been forced to impose tax increases and spending cuts as they grapple with their debt, pressuring economic growth.

Falling yields on bonds have hurt insurers’ investment income.

The long-term ratings on Axa’s core insurance operating units were cut to A+ from AA-.

Axa, led by Chief Executive Officer Henri De Castries, has sought to expand in Asia and other emerging markets in search of higher growth than in Europe.

The company has also been focusing on less capital-intensive products, the ratings firm said.

“The continued recession in the Eurozone, protracted period of low interest rates, and still-high potential volatility in investment markets might be a challenge, however,” according to S&P.

Axa last month lowered earnings targets through 2015 because “unfavorable” financial markets are weighing on its life insurance and asset-management businesses.

The company expects operating-earnings-per-share to climb 5% to 10% annually until 2015 compared with a previous target of 10%, the insurer said in a presentation on its website in November.

Helene Caillet, a spokeswoman for Axa, said the company doesn’t comment on actions by ratings firms.

Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Mark on December 29, 2012, 04:15:20 pm
France's 75% 'supertax' thrown out as unfair and unconstitutional
France's constitutional council has dealt a blow to beleaguered Socialist president François Hollande by rejecting the new 75% rate of income tax due to come into effect on Tuesday.

more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/29/france-supertax-thrown-out-unconstitutional

Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Kilika on December 30, 2012, 03:14:24 am
75% tax? That's just insane government greed. How could any population tolerate such a tax? There is no way they can justify taking such a large amount in taxes, unless your a socialist like the French and US presidents.

Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Mark on December 30, 2012, 03:37:32 am
75% tax? That's just insane government greed. How could any population tolerate such a tax? There is no way they can justify taking such a large amount in taxes, unless your a socialist like the French and US presidents.

let them eat cake.  :D

Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Kilika on December 30, 2012, 04:02:44 am

Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 22, 2013, 12:23:23 pm


Spain, France to miss debt goals as euro zone stays in recession

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The euro zone will not return to growth until 2014 and struggling Spain and France will be among those who miss debt-cutting targets as a result, the European Commission said on Friday.
Paris and Lisbon said they would seek more time from Brussels to reach their deficit goals. Madrid has already indicated the same.
The EU's executive said the euro zone economy, which generates nearly a fifth of global output, would shrink 0.3 percent in 2013 after a 0.6 percent fall last year, blaming a lack of bank lending and record joblessness for delaying the recovery.
That represented a marked downgrade of the Commission's prediction from November that the euro zone would grow this year. The euro slipped on the back of the forecasts.


Title: Re: Watch France
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 25, 2014, 10:21:58 am
French government dissolved amid turmoil among ministers

(CNN) -- The French government was dissolved Monday amid turmoil among top ministers.

President Francois Hollande asked Prime Minister Manuel Valls to form a new government, which will be announced Tuesday, Hollande's office said in a statement posted on Twitter.

French media reported that the upheaval was caused by public calls from Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg for a major reorientation of economic policy in a country where growth has stalled and unemployment remains high.

Montebourg's comments were seen as a challenge to the authority of Hollande and Valls.

"The crisis in the heart of the government is clear, and it promises to be bloody," reported Le Figaro, a right-leaning national newspaper.

Socialist leader Hollande said he wants the new government to be "a team that is coherent with the course that he himself has set for our country," the statement from his office said.

Hollande has the worst approval ratings of any French President on record. Valls' popularity, meanwhile, has shown a decline in recent opinion polls.

Valls has been in the post of Prime Minister since March 31, replacing Jean-Marc Ayrault. Hollande has held the presidency since 2012, when he defeated his predecessor, the center-right leader Nicolas Sarkozy.