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French PM Ayrault lashes ‘Anglo-Saxon prophets of doom’ on euro during Philippines visit

Reuters/Cheryl Ravelo

The euro is here to stay, Jean-Marc Ayrault assured Asians on a visit to the Philippines Saturday. The French prime minister blamed English-speaking media, and in particular the British press, for sowing panic in south-east Asia over the single currency’s future.


Ayrault delivered a “categorical denial to the prophets of doom” who are betting that the euro will collapse and insisted that it will “continue” to exist at an economic forum in Manila.

Ayrault invited Aquino to come to France to open an exhibition of 300 pre-colonial Philippine artifacts at Paris’s Quai Branly museum of non-European art in April 2013.

The single currency is an “achievement of history”, he said, assuring his audience that eurozone leaders would not “take the risk of abandoning it”.

Before visiting the Philippines, Ayrault stopped off in Singapore on a trip he hopes will reverse France’s neglect of an economically developing region that his country has “forgotten” in recent decades.

On Friday he told journalists that people he had talked to in south-east Asia had been influenced by the “Anglo-Saxon press, especially the British” and were “anxious about the euro’s future”.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

But Friday’s decision to move towards central supervision of eurozone banks meant “you can have confidence in the euro”, Ayrault told the business forum, adding that the continent is “stable, peaceful, secure” and thanking the Philippines for participating in the International Monetary Fund’s financial assistance to Europe.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino welcomed Ayrault on Friday with the wish that the two countries will have “robust relations” in the future.

It is “curious” that there is so little interaction between the governments of two peoples who “share so many values in common”, he said.


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