S&P Downgrades France, Italy, Others 1 Notch

By Salon Staff

Published January 13, 2012 10:00PM (EST)

PARIS (AP) — Ratings agency Standard & Poor's has downgraded the government debt of France, Austria, Italy and Spain by one notch, but maintained Germany's at the coveted 'AAA' level.

The cuts, which eliminated France and Austria's triple-A status, deal a heavy blow to the currency union's ability to fight off a worsening debt crisis.

Italy was lowered to BBB+ from A. Spain slipped to A from AA-.

The downgrades come as crucial talks on cutting Greece's massive debt pile appeared close to collapse Friday.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

PARIS (AP) — Ratings agency Standard & Poor's has downgraded the government debt of France, Austria, Italy and Spain by one notch, but maintained Germany's at the coveted 'AAA' level.

The cuts, which eliminated France and Austria's triple-A status, deal a heavy blow to the currency union's ability to fight off a worsening debt crisis.

Italy was lowered to BBB+ from A. Spain slipped to A from AA-.

The downgrades come as crucial talks on cutting Greece's massive debt pile appeared close to collapse Friday.


Salon Staff

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