France happy with Eurogroup stance
France said on Friday it was happy with the Eurogroup's position on the euro and said that it expected Europe to present a united front on monetary matters at the G8.
Jean-Pierre Jouyet, the secretary of state for Europe, also told France 24 television that the Chinese yuan exchange rate was too rigid and too managed compared with other currencies.
"A common position was expressed by the economy and finance ministers at the last Eurogroup. This common position is quite satisfactory," Jouyet said.
" Europe will be united at the G8 and will be united on monetary issues," he added. He did not make clear whether he was talking about a meeting of fin-ance ministers or heads of state.
In an interview with Le Monde newspaper published on Thursday, Euro-group chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said he preferred a strong euro to a weak one.
That was a rebuff to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has repeatedly accused the independent European Central Bank of failing to do enough to help growth and job creation. He has also demanded more dialogue between the ECB and Eurogroup.
On the rigidities of the yuan exchange rate, Jouyet said that "given China's place in overall international trade, given the place of the yuan today, it is very important that this is corrected."
Earlier, US Deputy Treasury Secretary Robert Kimmitt said Beijing disagreed with Washington on the pace at which the yuan should be allowed to rise and that he welcomed the euro zone's call for a faster revaluation of the yuan.
The comments raised the chances of concerted pressure on Beijing from the Group of Seven - Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States - whose finance ministers and central bankers meet in Washington on October 19.
China has allowed its currency to rise eight per cent against the dollar since it was revalued by 2.1 per cent in July 2005 and unhitched from a dollar peg to float within managed bands. The yuan has fallen about eight per cent against the euro.
Currency: EU and Bulgaria agree to end row
The European Union presidency and Bulgaria agreed in principle on Friday to enable the bloc to sign an accord on closer ties with Montenegro by postponing a dispute over the Bulgarian spelling of the euro currency.
Bulgaria had refused to sign the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with Montenegro next Monday unless the Bulgarian text called the currency "evro", the name long used by Bulgarians, who pronounce Europe "Evropa". ( Reuters )