Just hours after a deal reached by the European Union on a bailout plan for Greece, French Prsident Nicolas Sarkozy said was a "mistake" to allow Greece to enter the eurozone.
In comments that are likely to inflame tensions between EU member states, Sarkozy said it was a mistake to let Greece join the euro single currency when it did because its economy was not ready to form a monetary union with others in the club.
Nevertheless, world stocks continued to rally on Friday and the euro jumped to a seven-week high against the dollar after European leaders agreed on a debt deal in Brussels aimed at resolving the two-year-old eurozone sovereign debt crisis.
The plan, announced early on Thursday, would increase the eurozone rescue fund to $1.4tn, implement a 50 per cent write-off for private bond-holders of Greek debt and recapitalise the region's banks.
"It was a mistake", Sarkozy said in an interview, when asked about having Greece adopt the euro two years after the single currency was created.
"Its economy was not ready”, he added.
Sarkozy gave the rare televised interview to explain the eurozone debt plan to the French electorate, six months before a presidential election.