Monday, November 14, 2011

'France will be the next to crumble', warns Gordon Brown

France risks becoming the next victim of the sovereign-debt crisis “in the coming weeks”, Gordon Brown, the former prime minister, has warned.

Mr Brown’s prediction came as the difference between French borrowing costs and those of Germany hit record levels.

EU leaders urged France to draw up further austerity measures to meet its deficit reduction targets, amid fears the eurozone’s second biggest economy could crumble if Italy’s debt crisis spirals out of control. Mr Brown, speaking in Moscow, said: “France is in danger of being picked off by the markets in the coming weeks and months.”

He urged Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president and current G20 chairman, to draw up a “global growth agreement” with major powers such as China.

Such a deal could help to support the EU, whose bail-out mechanisms are not big enough to prop up a major nation.

Mr Brown’s speech echoed Olli Rehn, the EU economics commissioner. more