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France assures depositors in face of crisis

PARIS, October 7 – France\’s central bank governor insisted Tuesday the government would "totally preserve" all French deposits, urging depositors to leave their money in banks despite the crisis rocking world markets.

Christian Noyer said President Nicolas Sarkozy had been "absolutely clear" in stating that no French depositor would lose a cent in the turmoil that has seen the collapse and rescue of a string of major financial institutions.

"The government will do what it takes to ensure that. There is no problem at all," Noyer told Europe 1 radio.

Asked whether the French state would raise the guarantee on savings above the current level of 70,000 euros (95,000 dollars), he said: "Perhaps we will do so, I don\’t know. Whatever the amount, savings will be totally preserved. There is nothing to fear."

"There is no reason to believe that stock markets are going to collapse," he insisted, urging French families and businesses not to pull their money from the banking system.

"It is very important that that doesn\’t happen," he said.

The central bank chief insisted no French banks risked going bust in the turmoil.

"Our banks are solid, they are not at all at risk. If by chance something unexpected happened, no French bank would fall."

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