S&P downgrades nine euro zone countries

Posted: January 14, 2012 in FINANCIAL, NEWS
Tags: , , , , , , ,

BERLIN/ATHENS (Reuters) – Standard & Poor’s downgraded the credit ratings of nine euro- zone countries, stripping France and Austria of their coveted triple-A status but not EU paymaster Germany, in a Black Friday the 13th for the troubled single currency area.

“Today’s rating actions are primarily driven by our assessment that the policy initiatives that have been taken by European policymakers in recent weeks may be insufficient to fully address ongoing systemic stresses in the eurozone,” the U.S.-based ratings agency said in a statement.

In a potentially more ominous setback, negotiations on a debt swap by private creditors seen as crucial to avert a Greek default that would rock Europe and the world economy broke up without agreement in Athens, although officials said more talks are likely next week.

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