FRANCE TO PUSH AHEAD WITH COST-CUTTING MEASURES
France's Prime Minister said Saturday, Jan 14, his country will push ahead with cost-cutting measures after its top-tier debt rating was downgraded, a blow with repercussions across financially beleaguered Europe.
Other European countries from Austria to Cyprus assailed ratings agency Standard & Poor's after a raft of downgrades Friday night. The move may make it more expensive for struggling countries to borrow money, reduce debts and avoid a new recession.
French Prime Minister Francois Fillon struck a somber, measured tone when responding Saturday to the downgrade, which was particularly wounding to France's self-image and could hurt bailout efforts for struggling eurozone countries. France is central to those efforts, and the downgrade, by pushing up its own borrowing costs, could make it harder for France to help others.
Fillon said the downgrade confirmed his conservative government's plans for more reforms to bring down debts, despite worries that more austerity measures could suffocate growth.
The downgrade, coming three months before France holds presidential elections, was "an alert that should not be dramatized any more than it should be under-estimated," he said. He insisted that France is a reliable investment, The Associated Press reported.
Standard & Poor's stripped France of its coveted AAA status, knocking it down one notch to AA+. It dropped Italy even lower. Germany retained its top-notch rating, but Portugal's debt was consigned to junk.
Cyprus' finance minister called Standard & Poor's two-notch downgrade of his eurozone country to junk status "arbitrary and unfounded."
- 1832 The opening of Yerevan's Provincial School.
- 1899 Death of the Egyptian diplomat and philanthopist Noobar Pasha. He was born in 1825.
- 1912 Yerevan's water-mains system is inaugurated.
- 1916 Carl Liebknecht said in the Reichstag: "The Turkish government organized horrific massacres of the Armenians. The whole world knows about this and for this crime the whole world blames Germany".
- 1921 Opening of the first meeting of Yerevan's and Echmiadsin's provincial teachers.
- 1922 Death of Anton Gosh, a participant in the assassination attempt of Yildiz.
- 1930 Birth of Edgar Hovhannissyan (composer).
- 1969 Creation of the Masseess region in Armenia.