EU Leaders Deplore S&P Credit Rating Downgrade

Bulgaria in EU | January 14, 2012, Saturday // 11:40|  views

EU commissioners and ministers have expressed their negative surprise at the massive downgrade of eurozone members' credit ratings from Standard & Poor's.

The influential credit rating agency announced it has lowered the credit ratings of 9 eurozone members, and revised the outlook of all of them save Germany and Slovakia to negative.

European Economy Commissioner Olli Rehn has criticized the decision as "wrong and illogical."

According to Rehn, S&P has deliberately chosen to announce the downgrade at a moment in which eurozone countries have taken crucial measures to overcome the debt crisis.

EU Internal Market and Trade Commissioner Michel Barnier has joined Rehn's remarks, saying he is "surprised" at the announcement.

"While governments and EU institutions are hard at work to discipline public finances, I am surprised that this precise moment has been chosen by S&P," said Barnier.

On the other hand, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has stated that his country is not "entirely surprised" at the announcement.

The Austrian government has also slammed Standard & Poor's move as "incomprehensible."

Austria, along with France, has lost its top AAA rating to an AA+. Another two of the EU's largest economies, Italy and Spain, also suffered a downgrade.

In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy, who faces elections in less than 4 months, called an emergency sitting of the cabinet of PM Francois Fillon.

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Tags: Michel Barnier, Wolfgang Schaeuble, Austrian, German, credit rating, Standard & Poor's, Eurozone, debt crisis, Germany, France, Slovakia, Italy, Spain, Austria, downgrade, Olli Rehn, Nicolas Sarkozy, Francois Fillon


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