France election poses risk to world economy-Schaeuble

by Reuters
Friday, 21 April 2017 13:54 GMT

WASHINGTON, April 21 (Reuters) - The presidential election in France where a first round takes place this weekend poses a risk to the global economy, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Friday.

French voters elect a president in a two-round vote on April 23 and May 7. Opinion polls have for months forecast that far-right leader Marine Le Pen would make it through to the run-off, but then lose in the final stage.

National Front leader Le Pen is campaigning on a platform of taking France out of the European Union and the euro. Far-left politician Jean-Luc Melenchon has also held out the possibility of a Frexit.

"It is no secret that we will not be cheering madly should Sunday's result produce a second round between Le Pen and Melenchon," Schaeuble said. "Political movements also belong to geo-political risks. I have big confidence in the republican rationality of the French".

Speaking on the sidelines of International Monetary Fund meetings in Washington, Schaeuble also said he expected G20 leaders to find a "non-confrontational" solution to trade issues when they meet in Hamburg in the summer.

The United States has criticized Germany's large trade surplus and threatened to shrink U.S. trade deficits with potential measures to restrict imports. (Reporting by Gernot Heller; Writing by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Andrea Shalal)

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