Tuesday, 17 January 2012

What will France losing its triple A mean?

This information is taken from http://www.english.rfi.fr and I take no credit for it!!

French politicians are squabbling over how important Friday's downgrading by the Standard & Poor's rating agency is and who is responible. But what will it mean for ordinary French people and European institutions? And will it kill President Nicolas Sarkozy?

  1. France will pay more interest on state borrowing, scheduled to be 180 billion euros this year, further boosting state debt;
  2. Local authorities’ debts will get bigger – many owe large amounts to banks whose interest rates will go up – pushing up local taxes;
  3. State institutions, such as social security, will pay higher interest rates, as will companies that are all are part-owned by the state;
  4. Mortgages and other personal loans in France and other downgraded countries may become more expensive;
  5. Foreign investors, such as pension funds, may put their money elsewhere;
  6. Europe will have more austerity – finance ministers say they will agree a new treaty to tighten fiscal rules at the end of the month;
  7. Some European banks may be downgraded because their governments are seen as too risky to back them up if necessary;
  8. The European Financial Stability Fund - the eurozone bailout fund - could be downgraded since its rating depends on that of the six top-rated countries;
  9. Nicolas Sarkozy will die (electorally) - "If France loses its AAA, I'm dead," he told aides in October, according to Le Canard Enchaîné weekly.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Sea France

Ferry firm SeaFrance is to shed 127 jobs in Dover after it was liquidated by a French court and told to cease activity.

The Tribunal de Commerce decided SeaFrance's future after a bailout by the French government was ruled illegal by the European Commission.

The court also said an offer by a cooperative of employees was not acceptable.

Hundreds of jobs in France are also expected to be lost.

Three ferries were operated by SeaFrance on the Dover to Calais route. The service was suspended in November.

Conservative MP for Dover and Deal Charlie Elphicke said: "It is a real concern for the... people in Dover who have worked for SeaFrance and also their families.

"This is a difficult day and I think the heart of the whole community goes out to them.