Economist time-bomb taunt: France fumes
The Economist's front cover showed seven loafs of baguette bread bound together by a French tricolour with a lit fuse protruding from the centre.
Its main article raised concerns that President Francois Hollande's economic reforms are not ambitious enough, warning that financial markets could turn against France, and so could jeopardise the future of the euro.
Honestly, The Economist has never distinguished itself by its sense of even-handedness, Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg told Europe 1 radio.
It is the Charlie Hebdo of the City, he said, referring to a French satirical weekly which in September drew international criticism for publishing cartoons depicting a naked Prophet Mohammad.
Aside from doubts over the scale of its reform efforts, many economists and EU officials are sceptical that Hollande's Socialist government can hit its target of cutting its public deficit to 3 percent of output to 2013 as promised.
Failure to do so could prompt financial markets to demand higher yields for its bonds, which are currently held around record lows of two percent on the perception that France is, a long with Germany, a safe haven in the euro zone.
Yet French public spending accounts for 56 percent of gross domestic product, the highest level in the euro zone, and public debt reached 90 percent of GDP this year. Hollande's deficit-cutting strategy is based
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