The French government is aiming to place one of its nationals as EU Commission president after incumbent Jean-Claude Junker leaves the post this year, in preference to competing for the presidency of the European Central Bank, also due for a new head, according to informed sources cited by news agency Reuters.
'We underestimated their power': Greek government insider lifts the lid on five months of 'humiliation' and 'blackmail'
In this interview with Mediapart, a senior advisor to the Greek government, who has been at the heart of the past five months of negotiations between Athens and its international creditors, reveals the details of what resembles a game of liar’s dice over the fate of a nation that has been brought to its economic and social knees. His account gives a rare and disturbing insight into the process which has led up to this week’s make-or-break deadline for reaching a bailout deal between Greece and international lenders, without which the country faces crashing out of the euro and complete bankruptcy. He describes the extraordinary bullying of Greece’s radical-left government by the creditors, including Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem’s direct threat to cause the collapse of the Hellenic banks if it failed to sign-up to a drastic austerity programme. “We went into a war thinking we had the same weapons as them”, he says. “We underestimated their power”.
Manuel Valls stressed that the ECB is independent but added: 'It's the Greek nation that is suffering.'
France's INSEE agency said core inflation fell to -0.2pc in November in clearest sign yet that economy is succumbing to deflationary forces.
Central bank boss says France has made 'big efforts' but competitiveness is 'insufficient' and country is over reliant on tax hikes to cut deficits.
Italian PM Mario Monti and French President François Hollande meet ahead of critical ECB initiative to save the euro to be unveiled Thursday.