The euro's second-largest economy (and the man who leads it) has been in the spotlight recently. France finds itself in a similar bind as Greece, Italy and Spain -- how do you balance the state budget without crippling economic growth?
Happiness is relative in Europe these days: Investors are cheering news the euro area's top economies did not turn in the abysmal results many had expected. Instead, things are just "garden-variety" bad.
The Bank of England forecasts this morning the U.K. economy will not grow at all in the coming quarter. Across the channel, the French central bank says the euro's second-largest economy is headed for its own recession. And Germany's being infected by all this through its exports, which fell in June.
Tomorrow is Bastille Day in France, the French will be celebrating despite the rainy weather and eurozone turmoil. This week French carmaker, Peugot, announced major layoffs, signaling the tough economic climate facing the country.