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Poland's 'apocalyptic' plea to Germany

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - 02:20

Nov. 29 - Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski delivers an impassioned plea to Germany to save the euro zone, as Italy comes under more market pressure - and France faces a potential downgrade. Kirsty Basset reports.

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As Europe's economy teeters on the edge, a dramatic request from Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, to Germany. (SOUNDBITE) (English) POLISH FOREIGN MINISTER RADOSLAW SIKORSKI, SAYING: "It's not terrorism, it's not the Taliban, it's certainly not German tanks, it's not even Russian missiles which president Medvedev has just threatened to deploy on the EU border. The biggest threat to the security and prosperity of Poland today would be the collapse of the euro zone. And I demand of Germany that, for your own sake and for ours, you help it (the euro zone) survive and prosper. You know full well that nobody else can do it." Sikorski also believes a breakup of the euro zone would be a "crisis of apocalyptic proportions." (SOUNDBITE) (English) POLISH FOREIGN MINISTER RADOSLAW SIKORSKI, SAYING: "I fear German power less than I am beginning to fear German inactivity." He didn't tell his German audience what he'd like them to do, but Poland has in the past supported the introduction of euro bonds. Poland is far from alone in worrying about its economy. At an auction of three year debt on Tuesday, Italy was forced to pay a record of almost 8 per cent. That's up from just below 5 per cent, a month ago - and one percent more than than the figure regarded as unsustainable. But Reuters Chief Correspondent James Mackenzie says there was one bright spot. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS CHIEF CORRESPONDENT, JAMES MACKENZIE SAYING: "They wanted to sell a maximum of 8 billion and they sold 7.5 billion. After we saw a very bad auction result from Germany a little while ago where they didn't manage to sell everything they wanted. So this at least was positive and taken as slightly positive by the markets, which picked up a little bit on the back of it." France is also feeling the squeeze - following reports it might lose its triple A credit rating within days. French media is reporting ratings agency Standard and Poor's could soon change the country's outlook to negative. If that happened, France, like Italy, could find itself facing a surge in borrowing costs, further increasing its debt burden. Kirsty Basset, Reuters.

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Poland's 'apocalyptic' plea to Germany

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 - 02:20