A loss of France's AAA credit rating would add to the country's difficulties but would not be insurmountable, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said in a interview published Monday.

Sarkozy told Le Monde newspaper that the ratings agencies had identified French banks as a risk to France's rating, but the European Banking Authority had deemed them to need less capital than their German counterparts.

He said this was good news and not a single cent of the state budget would go towards raising the 7.7 billion euros (5.06 billion pounds) in capital the authority said French banks needed.

If ratings agencies were to downgrade France, Sarkozy said the government would handle the situation with a cool head.

It would be one more difficulty, but not insurmountable, he said.

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; editing by David Stamp)