Tuesday, January 17, 2012

S&P's lowers EU bailout fund rating

Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's headquarters in New York, the United States

Source: Press TV

Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's has demoted the rating of the eurozone bailout fund as the European debt crisis continues to burgeon.

The credit rating of the Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), the eurozone's rescue package, was lowered to AA+ from AAA on Monday.

The move comes as many eurozone countries have lost their credit worthiness due to their economic downturn.

France and Austria, the latest countries to be examined by the agency, saw their ratings drop from AAA to AA+ on Friday.

In December, the S&P's sounded the 'credit watch negative' alarm regarding the ratings for 15 eurozone countries including France and Germany.

Both the president of France as well as the CEO of the EFSF on Monday dismissed any potential fears caused by the S&P's move.

"We have to react to this with calm, by taking a step back," French President Nicolas Sarkozy said, adding, "At the core, my conviction is that it (the downgrade) changes nothing."

Klaus Regling, the eurozone bailout fund CEO, said that there were no needs to “get overly excited” over the news as the rescue package was only lowered by one notch.

The worsening debt crisis, however, has forced the European governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic adjustment policies.

There are fears that more delays in resolving the eurozone debt crisis could push not only Europe, but also much of the rest of the Western world back into recession.

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