France is calling for speedy implementation of the latest Eurozone bail-out plan for Greece, to bolster flagging confidence in the deal and stymie market speculators betting against its success.

“The 17 members of the eurozone must shorten the timetable to ensure there is no room for speculators. They have to realise there is no future in that. That is what France is doing,” said François Baroin, French finance minister.

Rapid implementation of the plan “is clearly an element in the restoration of confidence”, he said.

Mr Baroin, who succeeded Christine Lagarde this month, when she left to head the IMF, insisted in an interview with the Financial Times that the bail-out agreement reached on July 21 “truly marks a profound and very important turning point in the crisis”.

The agreement provides for €109bn in new funding for Greece from the European financial stability facility (EFSF) and the IMF, and includes a bond exchange plan that officials believe will cut €54bn from Athens’ financing needs over the next three years by getting private sector bond holders to delay redemptions.

But market scepticism has grown that the programme’s assumptions are too optimistic and may not prevent the debt crisis spreading to other eurozone members.

In a further effort to rally support for the Greek deal, Mr Baroin and Wolfgang Schäuble, the German finance minister, acknowledge in a joint article in Friday’s FT that rebuilding confidence in the euro “will require patience and considerable stamina”.

However, they add: “We shall defend the euro. We will not jeopardise economic and political integration in Europe, which is the basis for our own prosperity.”

The article echoes Mr Baroin’s concern to defuse financial market attacks on vulnerable eurozone countries, with Cyprus the latest to come under pressure.

Speaking during a visit to London to meet George Osborne, UK chancellor of the exchequer, he stressed the importance in the eurozone agreement of steps to allow the EFSF to take preventive action to support countries not in a bail-out programme, but that come under pressure because of their debt burdens – measures clearly aimed at Italy and Spain.

Mr Baroin said this would “prevent speculative attacks”. He added: “The agreement and the tools we have adopted are the antidotes that are needed. And the [ECB] will continue to play its usual role to which we are very much attached.”

Asked if Cyprus might be the first country to benefit, he replied: “This is not a question which is immediately on the radar.”

The next priority, Mr Baroin said, was to bring forward proposals to strengthen economic and fiscal governance in the eurozone, in which he included the role of the credit rating agencies. “We have to deal with the impact these agencies have on some of the states in the [eurozone] programme …it is one of the elements of governance.”

He said it was too early to comment on proposals due to be set out by the European Commission in the autumn, but he pointed to the idea of having a European rating agency “to open up the virtual monopoly” of the three major agencies, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch.

President Nicolas Sarkozy is due to outline at the end of August proposals for deeper convergence of economic and fiscal policies within the eurozone. Mr Baroin said that French proposals would be “ambitious”.

In the joint article with Mr Schäuble, the ministers said that eurozone members should be “obliged to adopt a fiscal and monetary policy that reflects their joint responsibility for the common currency”, underlining the tougher rules agreed for surveillance and enforcement as well as co-ordination of economic policy.

Mr Baroin said: “It is not a question of doctrine – whether it is a French or a German approach. What matters is to have a European approach that works.”

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