Germany Frets as France Declines

A Moody’s downgrade of French debt highlights France’s weakness
German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomes French President Francois Hollande at the Chancellery in Berlin Photograph by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

It was bad news for France—and possibly worse news for France’s neighbors. Late on Nov. 19, Moody’s Investors Service stripped Paris of its AAA bond rating. The move, though widely anticipated, raises the likelihood that other European economies could be hit with downgrades.

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