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Euro-crisis: Sarkozy set for TV debrief

Matthew Warren · 27 Oct 2011, 08:45

Published: 27 Oct 2011 09:14 GMT+02:00
Updated: 27 Oct 2011 08:45 GMT+02:00

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President Sarkozy will take command of the airwaves on France's two main TV channels on Thursday evening to talk about the EU's latest deal on the debt crisis.

The president will appear simultaneously on both TF1 and France 2 in an hour and a quarter long interview with two journalists.

EU leaders said they had put together a plan to tackle the eurozone's sovereign debt crisis early on Thursday morning.

Measures agreed include halving Greek debt and increasing the firepower of the eurozone's bailout fund to around €1 trillion ($1.4 trillion).

In talks that stretched into the early hours of Thursday, a deal was finalized with private holders of Greek debt who agreed to take a 50 percent writedown on their holdings.

"We have reached an agreement which I believe lets us give a credible and ambitious and overall response to the Greek crisis," President Sarkozy told reporters on Thursday morning. 

"Because of the complexity of the issues at stake it took us a full night. But the results will be a source of huge relief worldwide."

The choice of journalists and the production company that will be used for the president's intervention on TV on Thursday evening have already created controversy.

TF1 news anchor Jean-Pierre Pernaut and TV presenter Yves Calvi will interview the president but some have claimed their lack of economic expertise makes them a poor choice.

The opposition Socialist party accused the president of hand-picking the two journalists. It also criticized the choice of a private company, Maximal Productions, to produce the programme as the same company staged some of the president's public meetings during his 2007 election campaign.

"Nicolas Sarkozy chose these two journalists as well as its production by a private company owned by the Lagardère group" said the party's media spokesman Patrick Bloche in a statement."

"As always, Nicolas Sarkozy wants us all to believe that he was the Tarzan of the negotiations," said Socialist parliamentarian Michel Sapin.

Budget minister Valérie Pécresse said the interview would be a "natural meeting with the French people."

In an interview with RTL radio on Thursday morning, finance minister François Baroin said the deal had saved the euro.

 "Yes, indeed," he said when asked if the deal had secured the future of the single currency. "Of course there was a risk of explosion. This is an incredible systemic crisis."


Matthew Warren (news.france@thelocal.com)

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