VEYRINS-THUELLIN, France - The euro is now at the right level versus the dollar, French President Francois Hollande said on Thursday after the currency fell sharply with the launch of the European Central Bank's massive bond-buying plan.
The euro is trading at just under $1.06 after having fallen as far as $1.0494 earlier today, the lowest since January 2003. It has slumped 12 percent this year alone.
"The ECB has taken bold, brave, responsible decisions," Hollande said during a visit to a cable-car company near the French Alps. "These decisions lead to low interest rates, which are good for companies, and to a level of the euro that is becoming competitive."
In recent years, France had repeatedly complained about the strength of the euro, saying it hurt its efforts to boost its competitiveness. The government hopes the euro zone's second-largest economy will start lifting itself out of stagnation this year thanks to the low euro, interest rates and oil prices.
"It makes things nice and clear: one euro equals a dollar," he added.
(Reporting by Julien Ponthus; Writing by Ingrid Melander Editing by Alexandria Sage)