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French PM says euro too strong

Thursday, July 24 08:32:06

France's Prime Minister on Thursday called for the European Union to do more to help those member states carrying out reforms and reiterated France's views that the euro is overvalued.

"You know I consider that the euro today is too expensive, too strong. To implement the stability pact we need more flexibility ... Europe must do more to accompany the policies carried out by governments," Manuel Valls told RTL radio.

Valls referred in particular to the European Commission's President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker's pledge to present within the first three months of his mandate "a Jobs, Growth and Investment Package" to generate an extra 300 billion Euro ($403 billion) in investment over the next three years.

Francois Hollande's government has repeatedly complained this year about the strength of the euro, calling on both the ECB and governments to take action on the currency front to boost growth.

Hollande himself said on Monday it could be hard for France to reach EU fiscal targets next year because of disappointing growth, saying France would use available margins of manoeuvre if necessary.

European Union leaders signalled at a summit last month they were ready to be flexible by giving member states extra time to consolidate their budgets as long as they pressed ahead with reforms.

(Reuters)

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