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Kläsgen, Michael

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5 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | 19/10/2011

Downgrade for France threatens Europe

Moody's rating agency threatened on Tuesday to downgrade France's credit rating unless Paris introduces further reforms. The left-liberal daily Süddeutsche Zeitung finds the warning justified: "It is true, Paris did recently introduce a programme plan to cut costs by twelve billion euros. But the plan hardly holds water. It's based on a growth estimate of 1.75 percent in the coming year, which is wishful thinking. ... If growth drops, France may not even reach its relatively unambitious austerity target. ... Along with Germany France is a heavyweight in Europe. Both countries guarantee the stability of the euro, both bear responsibility for overcoming the crisis. For that reason a downgrading for France would also weigh heavily on Germany. If France lost its triple-A, the euro bailout fund could hardly maintain its top rating. Germany would then be the last bastion in the fight for the markets' confidence. And on its own it would be hard-pressed to stand surety for the rest of the Monetary Union."

Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | 09/05/2008

Corruption? No problem!

Michael Kläsgen comments on public perception of the bribery affair surrounding the French corporate giant Alstom: "You have to look closely to see that Alstom is being investigated at all. ... The French, as meaningless as generalisations may be, apparently have a more relaxed attitude towards affairs, lies and deception, corruption and manipulation. One can only guess about where this serenity - or indifference - comes from. ... If you never reveal other people's secrets you'll never have to lose face yourself, an indispensable maxim runs. ... No wonder that on day two of the revelation, Alstom is still not in the pillory. ... There is no sign far and wide that any action will be taken to straighten things up. ... If a foreign paper hadn't reported on the case, the affair would never have come to light at all. Presumably the same goes for many other affairs."

Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | 04/10/2007

Insider dealings revealed at EADS

Michael Kläsgen doubts it will be possible to gather legal proof of the alleged insider trading at EADS. "The investigators will neither be able to establish a date after which it was known for certain within the company that there would be delivery delays, nor will they be able to establish a connection between the sale of shares and alleged knowledge of the problems. And finally, they be able to prove that those suspected of having been in the know could have foreseen that once the problems entered the public domain shares in the company would plunge by 26 percent. ... But even if the affair should come to trial, it's unlikely that anyone will be sentenced despite the plausibility of the facts and their moral culpability."

Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | 04/09/2007

The GDF-Suez merger under criticism from Europe

Michael Kläsgen analyses the role of the French president in the merger, which took 18 months to prepare. "Nicolas Sarkozy, who wasn't initially involved in the surprise manoeuvre and distanced himself from the move, could have turned the tide and advocated a European solution - especially given that the plans for a merger were at a dead-end. But Sarkozy adopted a different approach. He got involved in the negotiations, gave instructions and personally engineered a compromise with major Suez shareholders. He had only one goal in mind: the creation of a French company that would dominate the European market and which was protected against hostile takeovers. To this end the state retains a blocking minority in the new GDF-Suez entity. The fact that he has in effect partially nationalised the formerly private Suez demonstrates how far Sarkozy was willing to go. Among other things this violates the principles of Europe's single market."

Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | 22/06/2006

Crisis at EADS

Michael Kläsgen examines the crisis at aeronautics and space company EADS and loses patience with French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin: "Now Paris's euroscepticism is weakening an entire industrial group. Villepin has crossed a dangerous boundary… Exactly a year ago, following a prolonged power struggle the French State installed Noël Forgeard at the company's helm. This is the man being made chiefly responsible for the company's current plight. The ex-Airbus boss is a former confidant of President Jacques Chirac who has now fallen from favour. Just before EADS shares took a plunge on the stock market owing to the delayed delivery of the A380 superjumbo, he sold company shares amounting to millions of euros. Despite the accusations of insider trading, Dominique de Villepin has taken an indulgent stance towards his friend."

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