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21.05.2019 Europe

Euro 'under threat like never before', French finance minister says

By RFI
AFP/File
MAY 21, 2019 EUROPE

France's finance minister Bruno Le Maire has insisted the euro is "under threat as never before", not just because of the risk of a trade war between China and the United States but the emergence of far-right leaders in Europe who would be happy to see its end.

"Our single currency is above all under threat politically now because many European leaders are not hiding their desire to see the euro disappear," Bruno Le Maire told reporters in Paris on Tuesday.

He reiterated comments he had made on Sunday on BFM television that a win by Marine le Pen's far-right National Rally party in this weekend's European parliament elections could hurt the euro and damage the French economy and industries.

Opinion polls show Le Pen's party, formerly known as the National Front, to be neck-and-neck with President Emmanuel Macron's centrist Republic On the Move.

"If the nationalists, through Marine Le Pen, win on 26 May, it would be serious for our finances, it would be serious for the stability of the euro," Le Maire said, adding that it would be “serious for all economic and industrial policies that we have launched”.

Countries in a "fragile" euro zone needed to take extra steps to support the single currency, including measures addressing its budget, banking and capital market unions.

He admitted such decisions "are hard to make," but failing to do so "risks threatening the euro".

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