France Warns Germany to Watch Critical Comments

France’s finance minister has called on the German establishment to watch its words when criticizing his country’s economic policies, claiming barbs from Germany are fueling the rise of anti-EU populists.

Michel Sapin, who is under pressure from Brussels and Berlin to be more aggressive in cutting spending and in his reforms, said he was concerned by “certain extreme comments in Germany”. He called for mainstream parties to counter “outdated” stereotypes.

“As minister of finance of France, I take steps I think are good for the country. I think people have to be careful from the outside on how they express views on France,” Mr Sapin told the Financial Times.

“We really need to be careful, to respect each other and to respect each others’ history, national identity and points of sensitivity, because otherwise it will help extreme parties to grow.”

Opinion polls suggest Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front, is likely to qualify for the second round of France’s presidential election in 2017 and would beat the socialist incumbent François Hollande.

Mr Sapin’s remarks come at a time of heightened tension over economic policy between Paris and Berlin, further undermining the most important bilateral relationship in the EU. French leaders complain that EU deficit rules – toughened during the peak of the euro zone crisis at Berlin’s behest – are strangling the economy and that Germany is failing to play its part by expanding demand.

via CNBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza