Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • Europe launches navigation satellites to rival GPS

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Iraqi Sunnis quit govt talks after mosque massacre

    Read more

  • US demands Russia withdraw aid convoy from Ukraine

    Read more

  • Rights group sues US government over ‘deportation mill’

    Read more

  • Colombian army and FARC rebels begin work on ceasefire

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Missouri town

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • Fed Chair says US job market still hampered by Great Recession

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Europe

Greek minister slams ratings agencies' role in crisis

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-07-06

Greece's foreign minister slammed the role of ratings agencies in exacerbating the debt crisis in Europe during a conference in Berlin on Wednesday. The minister's comments followed the downgrading of Portugal's debt to junk status.

AFP - Greek Foreign Minister Stavros Lambridinis attacked on Wednesday what he termed the "madness" of ratings agencies in the European debt crisis, saying they exacerbated an already difficult situation.

He told a conference in Berlin that the decision by Moody's agency late on Tuesday to downgrade Portuguese debt to speculative status was not based on any failure to implement economic reforms.

The downgrading reflected rather "the assumption that Portugal would need a second bailout."

Portugal responds to rating agencies

Lambridinis said that this had "the wonderful madness of self-fulfilling prophecy" by aggravating Portugal's fiscal straits.

He accused market players of undermining his own debt-saddled country by betting on a default.

"Unfortunately a lot of people in these 'rational' markets have invested billions of euros in (a) Greek collapse," he said.

"That part of the market is more interested in seeing us fighting each other ... and hoping that in the end they would make the money that we are losing."

Lambridinis lamented the deterioration in relations between Greece and Germany, the biggest national contributor to the rescue package for Athens, and reminded Germany that it had a vested interest in the strength of the eurozone.

"The Germans feel they are bailing out some sinners," he said, while the Greeks feel like they are being "helped" by a harsh schoolmaster.

"The patient is not Greece it is the stability in Europe."

He thanked Germany for its support during the crisis but noted it had profited handsomely from the single currency and the common market.

"The airport of Athens was built by German companies and paid largely by European funds," Lambridinis cited as an example.

Moody's Investors Service slashed Portugal's credit rating by four notches to Ba2 from Baa1 and warned that it could be lowered further.

The agency said its main concern was that Lisbon would require a second bailout, just as Greece now does, and that private sector creditor banks would have to take some of the pain.

And on Monday Standard & Poor's warned that current proposals for a second Greek bailout could constitute an effective default.

That warning led German Chancellor Angela Merkel to demand that ratings agencies take a back seat to the the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission in determining Greece's fate.
 

Date created : 2011-07-06

  • PORTUGAL

    Moody's lowers Portugal's credit rating to junk

    Read more

  • GERMANY

    German court hears case against bailouts

    Read more

  • GREECE

    Eurozone agrees to further €12 billion for Greece

    Read more

COMMENT(S)