The top economic official of the European Union has criticised a decision by Standard and Poor’s to downgrade the credit ratings of nine euro zone countries.
Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said the move was inconsistent as the euro zone was taking decisive action to end the debt crisis. Other senior European officials have also hit out at the move.
The downgrade, which included stripping France off its top AAA rating was announced yesterday.
Italy, Spain, Cyprus and Portugal were cut two notches, with the latter two given “junk” ratings.
Germany kept its AAA rating. Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia and Malta were the other countries downgraded.
Standard and Poor’s criticised the bloc’s response to the crisis, saying austerity and budget discipline alone were not sufficient to fight it, and risked becoming self-defeating.