European Union finance ministers have formally agreed to end disciplinary measures against France, now that its budget deficit is below the three per cent of GDP limit set by EU rules. During talks in Brussels the ministers also discussed the European Central Bank’s independence and worries over the weak yen.
The Japanese currency has fallen by 10% against the euro in the past year and is down around 20% versus the euro’s launch value. The worry is that could hurt Europe’s economy through the effect on exports. The euro zone finance ministers also expressed support for the European Central Bank following criticism from the two main candidates in the French presidential election. Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker -who heads the group of 13 countries using the euro – said they had made it clear they would not back any attempt to force the ECB to focus more on economic growth rather than fighting inflation.