France calls on ECB to act as eurozone growth grinds to a halt

France made it clear it blamed foot-dragging on the part of the European Central Bank for the failure of the eurozone’s second biggest economy France piled pressure on the European Central Bank to do more to boost growth on Thursday after news that economic activity across the 18-nation single currency area came to a halt in the second quarter. With France registering zero growth for a second successive quarter, Michel Sapin, the country’s finance minister, halved his growth forecast for this year, abandoned the deficit reduction target and said it was up to the Frankfurt-based ECB to respond to an “exceptional situation of weak growth and weak inflation across the eurozone”.