French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday said the euro was still too strong against the dollar and the exchange rate was hurting French and European exports.

“Today it's better because we are at a euro-dollar rate of 1.29 to 1.30, but it is still too much,'' he told workers at a plant of the plane-maker Airbus in southwestern France.

“I know perfectly well that 0.1 points more on the euro is a billion in costs for the company,'' he said.

Mr. Sarkozy said that as the current President of the Group of 20 and Group of 8 powers, France wanted to reform currency and commodity markets and world governance. He also vowed that he would not allow the euro to collapse.

“If we ditch the euro, we ditch Europe. I am aware of your problems ... we are going to fight but we must not throw out the baby with the bathwater,'' he told the Airbus workers.

His comments came amid investor unease that the debt crisis that forced multi-billion-euro bailouts of Greece and Ireland last year may spread to Portugal and even to bigger economies such as Spain, Belgium and Italy. — AFP