The French situation should ring warning bells in the eurozone

France’s economic health is fragile, and its inability to adapt quickly should set off alarm bells in the eurozone. This is borne out by a study by the Lisbon Council Institute in Brussels, by the fact that the second-largest economy in the eurozone is the worst among the highest-ranking countries. The study examined the overall economic health and progress of 17 countries on monetary unions.

The “Euro Plus Monitor” report ranked France 13th in terms of overall economic health, which measures growth potential, employment or consumption, and 15th in its assessment of economic adaptation, which includes reducing the budget deficit and limiting growth in power costs. power work. The report places Estonia in the highest spot on both measures.

“On most of Monitor Euro Plus’ progress assessment criteria, France is closer to Spain and Italy than the other AAA-rated countries, namely Germany, Austria and the Netherlands,” the report said. The study reinforced fears that the eurozone’s second-largest economy would follow the same path as Italy and Spain. It has come under intense pressure from financial markets in recent months and is threatened by the debt crisis that emerged last year in Greece.

French debt service costs have gradually increased and today the yield on the 10-year government bond stood at 3.46 percent. This is nearly the maximum since the introduction of the euro and more than double the yield on similar German bonds. “Of the six eurozone countries rated AAA, France ranks lowest in terms of basic health,” the report said, according to Reuters. “This is too average a result for a country that wants to maintain its place in this elite group… Warning bells must be sounded for France.”

France ranks just above Italy, Portugal and Greece, but below Spain, in terms of overall health. The report identifies the weak competitiveness and sustainability of the current form of public finance as a key problem. Paris is the worst in the monetary union in terms of government spending.

The rating agencies are being very careful about France right now

France is only behind Germany and Austria in adaptability, but the report suggests that while these two countries have made the necessary changes, France has been inactive. “Basically healthy countries like Germany have no need to adapt. For a country with significant problems like France, the lack of adaptation is concerning,” the report said.

According to Reuters, analysts point out that, in terms of CDS bankruptcy insurance prices and bond yields, financial markets rate France far below the AAA category, of which Germany and the UK are the benchmarks. According to them, the rating agency was too late to downgrade France, which could be explained by the agency’s concern following attacks by European officials against them for their country’s past downgrades. The agencies also fear, according to analysts, that if they downgrade France, it will trigger a new wave of debt crises with unforeseen consequences up to the collapse of the eurozone.

Roderick Glisson

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