Keyword: debt crisis

French PM Ayrault slams 'lack of vision' over euro crisis, calls for breathing space for Greece and defends fiscal compact

Jean-Marc Ayrault : " l'Europe est un combat " © Mediapart

In this first part of a wide-ranging exclusive interview with Mediapart, French Prime Minister Jean-Marc pledges his government will do its all to keep the euro alive, argues that a delay should be given to Greece to meet its deficit target and answers mounting criticism that he and President François Hollande have capitulated their pro-growth policies with the adoption, without any compromise, of the austerity-promoting European Treaty on Stability, Cooperation and Governance, the TSCG. The French Prime Minister, in an interview conducted in French and translated here into English, calls on the treaty’s opponents to come clean that they want to leave the euro, and claims the election of President Hollande has announced a re-orientation of European policy-making. “I am convinced there has been an enormous degree of political weakness and lack of vision since the start of the crisis,” he comments, adding that European leaders are “beginning to be conscious of the major risks into which we will be plunged if Greece leaves the euro.”

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The 'double heritage' behind the crisis in Greece


Following the creation of an independent Greece in 1830, the country’s administration has been significantly shaped by European models, while its cultural, religious and historical heritage, along with its geographical situation, have given the country, the first European state to have emerged from the Ottoman Empire, an exceptional political and economic destiny. In this interview with Joseph Confavreux, Geneva-based historian Dimitri Skopelitis offers a historical insight into the nature of the current turmoil in Greece, tottering on the brink of bankruptcy, its future within the European Union still uncertain, and the complex relationship between the population and the State.

Alexis Tsipras' radical answer to the Greek debt crisis

Alexis Tsipras © Reuters Alexis Tsipras © Reuters

Alexis Tsipras (pictured) is the leader of the Greek parliamentary radical-left coalition group Syriza. Following the collapse in support for the former governing Greek socialist party Pasok, vilified by its electorate for its unpopular austerity measures introduced amid the Greek debt crisis, the coalition is now facing its greatest electoral challenge - and opportunity - since it was founded in 2004. In this interview with Amélie Poinssot, Tsipras details his alternative vision of how Greece can emerge from the crisis, but also the problems posed by a legacy of division among the country's parties of the Left.

France and Germany remain poles apart

Two major speeches in two days supposed to highlight France and Germany's joint determination over eurozone crisis instead highlighted differences.

Cameron and Sarkozy in Paris talks on eurozone crisis

The French and British leaders held talks to discuss the debt crsisis ahead of a crucial meeting in Brussels next week on the future shape of the EU.

France, Germany and Italy squash market hopes of ECB intervention

France, Germany and Italy rule out major intervention by the European Central Bank to solve sovereign debt crisis and to prevent renewed recession.

Moody's warns France over Triple-A rating

Moody's has warned rising bond yields amplify France's fiscal challenges, endangering the triple-A credit rating of Europe's second-largest economy.

Why the IMF holds the key to solving the eurozone crisis

 © EU. © EU.

Few have heard of the International Monetary Fund's substitution account. The mechanism, proposed 40 years ago, never saw the light of day and yet, argues Philippe Ries, this is an instrument that would have offered, here and now, a way out of the eurozone debt crisis.

The trouble with France

CNN financial writer claims France's problems go beyond its 35-hour work week and efforts to preserve its triple-A credit rating may not be enough.

France and Germany clash over ECB role in crisis

France and Germany disagree over whether the European Central Bank should intervene more forcefully to halt eurozone's accelerating debt crisis.

France draws fire after ‘alarm bells’ warning

France came under further pressure on interbational markets Tuesday amid increasing fears it might sink into the eurozone debt crisis.

France and Germany 'planning new core eurozone'

Germany and France have discussed plans for a radical EU shakeup, establishing a more integrated and smaller euro zone, reports Reuters.

The plight of Greeks who fell overnight through the social floor


French NGO Médecins du Monde (MdM), which provides healthcare to the needy across the globe, originally opened its clinic in Athens to provide help for destitute immigrants and asylum seekers. But now the debt crisis has changed all that. Suddenly, its free-of-charges medical centre has seen a dramatic influx of Greek patients, who include public sector workers, former small business owners, young mothers, the elderly and rising numbers of the homeless, all unable to pay standard medical fees. "Some are so ashamed that they speak in English to pass off as migrants," explains Christina Samartzi, head of MdM's programme in Greece, in this interview with Carine Fouteau. "They are desperate, without hope," adds Samartzi, "they think that things are only going to get worse."

Sarkozy warns of more budget cuts, laments Greek entry into eurozone

In a TV interview Thursday evening, President Sarkozy warned of further budget cuts ahead, and said Greek entry into eurozone was an "error".

French banks 'can use their own profits' to meet new capital demands

French bank shares rose sharply after it emerged they had comparatively small amount to raise to cover their part of the debt crisis lending plan.