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German entrepreneurs alarmed by National Front victories

Investors seemed unfazed by the results of regional elections in France where the far-right National Front emerged as winner. But some German entrepreneurs said the returns did not bode well for their businesses.

European shares rose in trading on Monday from the three-week lows they reached last week.

Markets benefited from a weaker euro, helping stocks by making European exports cheaper and competing imports more expensive.

France's benchmark CAC-40 index, for instance, had improved by 1.3 percent as investors seemed to care little about

victories in Sunday's regional elections for the far-right National Front.

Feeling uneasy

But some German entrepreneurs acknowledged they were worried about the success of the National Front.

Watch video 01:42

Swing to the right in France

"The recent development in France is alarming," the president of the German Association of Family Businesses, Lutz Goebel, told Reuters.

"Looking ahead to the presidential election in 2017, a further advance by the National Front would be a step back to the Middle Ages, given the party's economic bunker mentality," he added.

For some decades, France has been the No.1 recipient of German exports, with the United States expected to oust Germany from that position by the end of this year.

Goebel, who represents the interests of 180,000 German entrepreneurs with a total workforce of eight million, said the success of the National Front on Sunday was not only a result of stronger anti-foreigner sentiments after the Paris attacks, but also a reflection of a weak economic policy under French President Francois Hollande.

hg/nz (Reuters, AFP)

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