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French finance minister: "It's better to be French than British"

Other News Materials 16 December 2011 14:48 (UTC +04:00)
French Finance Minister Francois Baroin made a swipe at Britain Friday, saying the situation on the other side of the Channel was "very worrisome."
French finance minister: "It's better to be French than British"

French Finance Minister Francois Baroin made a swipe at Britain Friday, saying the situation on the other side of the Channel was "very worrisome."

"It's better to be French than British at the moment, in economic terms," Baroin told Europe 1 radio.

His remarks were likely to cause further outrage in Britain after Bank of France governor, Christian Noyer, called Thursday for Britain's debt to be downgraded before that of France, DPA reported.

"They should begin by downgrading the United Kingdom which has bigger deficits, more debt, higher inflation, less growth than us and where credit is shrinking," Noyer told Le Telegramme, a regional newspaper.

Reacting to his and Baroin's criticisms the conservative Daily Telegraph declared on its website: "French leaders declare war of words on Britain and its economy."

Other British media saw in their remarks an attempt to deflect attention from France's woes.

Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's has threatened to downgrade the debt of France and 14 other eurozone countries. Such a move could cause their borrowing costs to spiral, intensifying the eurozone debt crisis and possibly triggering one or more payment defaults.

S&P said it could cut France's top AAA rating by two notches.

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