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Originally published Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 6:40 AM

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French minister: ECB must do more for jobless

A French official says the European Central Bank is shirking its responsibilities toward Europe's unemployed and should do more to weaken the euro to help exports.

The Associated Press

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PARIS —

A French official says the European Central Bank is shirking its responsibilities toward Europe's unemployed and should do more to weaken the euro to help exports.

Industrial Recovery Minister Arnaud Montebourg's comments go against a custom that politicians not meddle in the ECB's work.

Montebourg told Europe 1 radio Sunday: "It's not dealing with growth. It's not taking care of the unemployed. It's not taking care of the European people. And it has a duty to do so."

He called on ECB President Mario Draghi to buy the debt of European countries. The ECB has a program to do just that - but countries must first agree to reforms.

Montebourg also said the bank's policies are not doing anything to weaken the euro, which is hurting exports.

"What I am asking (Draghi) is to give us the weapons to fight unfair offshoring," he said.

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