Sarkozy election hopes damaged by rating downgrade


President Sarkozy received bad news yesterday, Friday 13th, when Standard and poor’s rating agency downgraded the French ‘holy grail’ credit rating from AAA to AA. He rating had been built up by the Sarkozy camp earlier last year, but in recent times as the possibility of a downgrade loomed, they have been suggesting that it will have little impact.

The credit rating agency has taken the decision based upon a number of factors, but low growth, a massive social security deficit and a budget that hasn’t been balanced since 1974 are all likely factors. The impact will mean that France will find it more expensive to buy credit, with the impact on local authorities who are heavily indebted likely to be the greatest.

President Sarkozy is facing a presidential election in April and the opinion polls are not looking especially good for him. A recent poll suggested that more than half French voters felt that losing th treasured Triple A rating would have a significant impact on their lives. Meanwhile a recent IFOP poll puts the Socialist candidate, François Hollande, on 27%, Sarkozy on 24% and Marine Le Pen of the right wing National Front on 21.5%. The polls suggest that in a runoff the socialist candidate would win.

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