France loses an 'A' but gains a true election debate

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Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s announced Friday that it had downgraded France’s triple-A credit rating to AA+. Mediapart editor François Bonnet argues here that the downgrade has stripped bare President Nicolas Sarkozy’s attempts, as he prepares to announce his candidature for re-election in April, to hide the amplitude of the economic crisis and his own failures in Europe and at home.