In an interview published in Monday’s Le Figaro newspaper, Parisot said the problems started when China decided to “teach the US a lesson” about the level of its debt over the summer.
“The Americans then wanted to pass the buck to Europe,” she said. “We saw a kind of psychological war and an attempt to destabilize the euro zone.”
Parisot cites as an example the “unfounded” rumours about French banks which were spread by the American media.
“The front pages of the American media announced the death of such and such a bank and even the end of the eurozone,” she said. “We went from attacks on Spain to attacks on Italy, then on France and as far as rumours that Germany would be downgraded last week!”
“Markets over-reacted,” she added, “as they are by nature very sensitive to rumours.”
“When American publications, which are read by investors and analysts, lead with these false and dramatic announcements, there are questions to be asked,” she said.
She said that ultimately Europe was under attack “not because it is weak but because it is strong.”
Parisot said she wanted to see greater cuts in spending to help cut the budget deficit and proposed that cuts in expenditure should be twice the amount of any revenue from increased taxation.