• President Nicolas Sarkozy, in his first public reaction to France's credit rating downgrade, vowed to carry out more reforms to lead the country out of crisis.
  • The right-wing leader was to host a "social summit" with unions and employers to try to make France's job market more flexible and halt rising unemployment ahead of presidential elections this year.
  • Standard & Poor's on Friday cut France's top triple-A credit rating, which it has held since June 1975, by one notch to AA+.
  • Sarkozy's main opponent in the presidential race, the Socialist Francois Hollande, noted that Sarkozy had staked his reputation on keeping the prized credit rating but now, he said, it was clear that he had failed miserably.