Now that its common currency is trading above the $1.50 barrier, eurozone industry is calling for action to remain competitive in global markets. BMW, which has already laid off 5,600 employees, will have to take further action in the event of a "sustained rise" of the euro, reports the Telegraph. "We can't cope with such an exchange gap," compained the CEO of Dassault, France's top aviation company.
European business is bracing for a shift of manufacturing to the US or low-cost areas, and a continued fall of the once-preeminent dollar will only exacerbate the problem. Nevertheless, the European Central Bank hasn't touched its 4% interest rate since June. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, so far the sole European leader calling for lower rates, might find allies in overriding the bank's independence if business malaise continues.