Down­grade from Fitch

Kathimerini English - - Business & Finance -

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Gior­gos Pa­pa­con­stanti­nou is seen at a Eurogroup meet­ing in Brus­sels ear­lier this week. Late yes­ter­day, the min­istry said a de­ci­sion by Fitch to cuts its rat­ing for Greece failed to take into ac­count ad­di­tional com­mit­ments by Athens to meet bud­getary goals for 2011 and speed up its pri­va­ti­za­tion pro­gram. Fitch pushed Greece’s credit rat­ing deeper into junk ter­ri­tory yes­ter­day, warn­ing of even fur­ther down­grades if the Euro­pean Union and the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund do not come up with a cred­i­ble plan to re­solve the coun­try’s debt cri­sis. One year into its EU-IMF bailout, Greece is strug­gling with weak rev­enues and a deep re­ces­sion, fu­el­ing spec­u­la­tion it will have to re­struc­ture its debt to pull it­self out of the fis­cal mess that trig­gered a eu­ro­zone cri­sis. ‘The rat­ing down­grade re­flects the scale of the chal­lenge fac­ing Greece in im­ple­ment­ing a rad­i­cal fis­cal and struc­tural re­form pro­gram nec­es­sary to se­cure sol­vency of the state and the foun­da­tions for sus­tained eco­nomic re­cov­ery,’ Fitch said in a state­ment. The three-notch cut to B+ with a neg­a­tive out­look takes Fitch’s rat­ing into ‘highly spec­u­la­tive’ ter­ri­tory, broadly in line with Stan­dard & Poor’s B rat­ing and Moody’s B1 grade.

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