French officials angrily rejected a charge by Britain's The Economist weekly on Friday that France was the "time-bomb at the heart of Europe" and a danger to the euro single currency, accusing the magazine of sensationalism.

The Economist's front cover showed seven loafs of "baguette" bread bound together by a French tricolour with a lit fuse protruding from the center. Its main article raised concerns that President Francois Hollande's economic reforms are not ambitious enough.