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European Press Review: Understanding the Euro

European editorial writers mulled over the euro's strength in the aftermath of the recent meeting of G7 finance ministers and speculated about the race for the U.S. presidency.

At the G7 meeting in Florida of some of the world's leading industrial nations, finance ministers and central bank heads warned against "excess volatility" in currencies over the weekend. Many commentators understood this "excess volatility" as the rapid rise in the value of the euro. The French financial paper Les Echos remarked that the United States is aware that the euro can't carry the weight of the U.S. budget deficit, given Europe's low economic growth.

In spite of the opinions expressed at the G7 meeting, the countries are very far from trading evenly, due to interest conflicts, Die Presse from Vienna commented. That means that exchange rates will remain unstable, it said.

Der Standard, also from Vienna, called on Europeans not to threaten their modest economic improvement of late by raising the price of the euro. The European Central Bank should lower interest rates, as a number of economists recommend, the paper commented.

Turning to the U.S. presidential campaign, The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote that weapons of mass destruction in Iraq will remain a topic in the race, and that no American politician can survive if they are weak on questions of national security.

L'Union from Reims in France called Democratic Party candidate Senator John Kerry's victories in state primary elections and caucuses a "storm warning" for President Bush. But the paper also said that U.S. politics had shown that the presidential campaign can get ugly, and Kerry's meteoric rise may not last until November. Catching Osama Bin Laden may be the kind of spurt that Bush needs to win, the paper opined.

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