'Miracle' if France keeps triple-A rating: market regulator

20th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

It would be a miracle for France to retain its triple-A credit rating, threatened by the eurozone debt crisis, the head of its main market regulator said on Tuesday.

"Keeping it would amount to a miracle, but I'd still like to believe it," said Jean-Pierre Jouyet, the outspoken head of the AMF regulation agency.

Ratings agencies have warned that France is exposed to the sovereign debt crisis gripping southern Europe and have threatened to downgrade its hitherto perfect rating.

The government has protested that it has embarked on an austerity programme backed by a pact with fellow eurozone members to guarantee deficit reduction.

Any suggestion that France's debt of 1.7 trillion euros ($2.2 trillion) is becoming unmanageable could send the interest rate it pays on bonds soaring.

Earlier, the French treasury announced that it would need to raise 178 billion euros ($232 billion) in medium and long-term bonds next year.

© 2011 AFP

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