Sarkozy promises more reform after France downgrade
AMBOISE, France - Agence France-Presse
France's President Nicolas Sarkozy makes his New Year speech to the Justice representatives at the Elysee Palace in Paris Friday, Jan. 13, 2012. AP PhotoPresident Nicolas Sarkozy, in his first public reaction to France's credit rating downgrade, vowed Sunday to carry out more reforms to lead the country out of crisis.
He said he would give an address to the nation at the end of the month and would tell the French about "the important decisions that need to be made without delay." "The crisis can be overcome provided that we have the collective will and the courage to reform our country," Sarkozy said at a memorial service for a former prime minister in the central French town of Amboise.
"We must resist, we must fight, we must show courage, we must remain calm," he said.
The right-wing leader was due Wednesday to host a "social summit" with unions and employers to try to make France's job market more flexible and halt rising unemployment ahead of presidential elections this year.
Standard & Poor's on Friday cut France's top triple-A credit rating, which it has held since June 1975, by one notch to AA+. Sarkozy's main opponent in the presidential race, the Socialist Francois Hollande, noted that Sarkozy had staked his reputation on keeping the prized credit rating but now, he said, it was clear that he had failed miserably.