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‘UK should lose AAA first’

The governor of the Banque de France said the UK’s economy was in a worse shape than France’s in an interview

BEFORE they think of lowering the French AAA grading the credit rating agencies should lower the UK’s, says the governor of the Banque de France.

Christian Noyer made the controversial remark in an interview with Le Télégramme, adding: “It has more deficits, just as much debt, more inflation, less growth than us and its credit is collapsing.”

He said however he did not think lowering France’s rating was justified economically. “All I know is that by their critical comments, the agencies have succeeded in damaging the positive feeling that existed on the markets after the Brussels summit.”

France was one of 15 eurozone countries put on a “negative watch” by ratings agency Standard & Poor’s this month. The UK was not mentioned.

The government has until this week stressed the vital importance of maintaining the AAA grade, however it is now downplaying it, with the president and top ministers saying France would cope nonetheless.

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