Malta’s credit rating downgraded by Standard and Poor’s

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Malta's credit rating downgraded by Standard and Poor'sStandard and Poor’s has downgraded Malta’s credit rating to A-, S&P also yesterday downgraded Italy to BBB+, negative outlook, with Spain to A, negative outlook, as part of a major overhaul of ratings on 16 of the 17 eurozone nations, with Greece excluded.

Italy, Cyprus and Portugal were cut two notches, with the latter two given “junk” ratings. Austria, Slovakia and Slovenia were cut by one notch.

S&P had previously downgraded France’s top AAA to AA+, with a negative outlook, but left Germany’s unchanged at AAA, stable.

The agency said that its actions on eurozone ratings were “primarily driven by insufficient policy measures by EU leaders to fully address systemic stresses.”

In Greece, talks between the country and its creditors were put on hold yesterday, which led to growing fears that it is edging closer to defaulting on its debts and being forced out of the single currency.

The Maltese Gvernment said that it noted the decision, which “highlighted the fact that the international crisis was worsening.”

The EU’s Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehnh criticised the decision by Standard and Poor’s to downgrade the credit ratings of the eurozone countries. He said that the move was “inconsistent” as the eurozone was taking “decisive action” to end the debt crisis.

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