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Friday the 13th: the latest sequel to the euro horror story

The shocks keep on coming in a crisis whose denouement is becoming increasingly uncertain

For France and its proud leader, Friday night’s loss of his country’s AAA credit rating was a humiliation. But it was also a wake-up call for leaders across Europe that the carefully constructed bailout package they announced to great fanfare in December has comprehensively fallen apart.

The single currency’s bailout fund, the European financial stability facility, is only as convincing as the countries underwriting it; so with France and others stripped of their AAA status, the plan to tempt overseas investors such as China to help out looks ever more untenable.

Meanwhile, the collapse of talks with Greek bondholders, also on Friday, could spell the end of the plan for a “voluntary” writedown of its debts.

Despite the European Central Bank’s more activist approach since Mario Draghi took the helm, which had restored some calm to markets and politicians, Friday the 13th’s double-barrelled blast of bad news means the December “rescue” of the euro has been overtaken by events. Europe has been plunged back into crisis; and there’s much more than Sarko’s wounded pride at stake. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds