EU criticizes S&P’s eurozone countries rating cut

Brussels, Jan 14 (IANS) European Union’s (EU) Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn has criticized Standard & Poor’s for its decision to downgrade credit ratings of nine eurozone countries.

The commissioner Friday said he regretted the S&P’s “inconsistent” decision which came at a time “when the euro area is taking decisive action in all fronts of its crisis response”.
“The recent EU decisions, combined with action by the ECB, have been instrumental in easing tensions in sovereign bonds markets,” said Rehn in a statement.
S&P’s announced Friday to cut the 3A-rating of France and Austria and ratings of seven other European countries, including Spain and Italy, saying the agreement reached by European leaders in December was not enough to address the region’s debt problems, reported Xinhua.
The announcement dealt a heavy blow to the value of the euro which dropped to below 1.27 against the US dollar later Friday.
Rehn also reiterated the need to bring forward the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), which might bestow EU more firepower to fight the crisis.

“The ESM will have its own capital base and thus will be less vulnerable to changes in ratings of its member states,” he said.