Aug. 10 - The French government has held an emergency meeting to discuss the financial turbulence as three credit ratings agencies dispelled rumours they were about to downgrade France from its AAA credit rating. Kirsty Basset reports.
TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS~**NO ACCESS FRANCE** French ministers arrive for an emergency meeting in Paris. They're supposed to be on their summer break but it ended early because of the recent market turbulence. France is the most indebted of the euro zone's Triple-A rated countries and there's been speculation it could be next to lose the coveted credit rating. French stocks have lost almost a quarter of their value in recent weeks, largely thanks to a U.S. downgrade. Shares in French banks slumped in afternoon trade - with Societe Generale alone falling more than 21 per cent, hitting a 2-1/2 year low. There was a temporary respite to the market turmoil on Wednesday morning when France's Finance Minister Francois Baroin was keen to look on the bright side. (SOUNDBITE) FRENCH FINANCE MINISTER, FRANCOIS BAROIN SAYING: "The sovereign debt markets have eased off. There has been an improvement in a context of febrility which naturally needs to be underlined. So we need to keep a cool head and our distances in regards to these events. But these measures have worked. They are solid. They have worked." Baroin also said the President was committed to reducing the country's budget deficit. And said details of how that would be achieved would be announced in two weeks. Kirsty Basset, Reuters.