American rating agencies threaten European stability: Portuguese president

15:06, July 10, 2011      

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Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva said Friday that "the decisions of the American rating agencies are a menace to European stability," referring to Moody's downgrading of its sovereign credit rating.

The president's statement came two days after a four-notch downgrade of the Portuguese sovereign debt rating from Baa1 to Ba2, and one day after Moody's downgrading the ratings of Portugal's four banks, four public companies and two municipalities to the junk level.

Silva told reporters that Moody's downgrading of Portuguese government debt was "completely unjustified" and lacked "transparency and objectivity."

Moody's downgrade followed similar moves by its peers Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, which currently rate Portugal at BBB-, the lowest investment-grade level and two notches above Moody's new rating.

Silva also said the downgrading "awakened the European leaders to face what the rating agencies have been doing."

In Portugal, the downgrading triggered a responsive online movement. Someone was calling for a protest against the rating agencies on Saturday through Facebook, a social networking website, and more than 27,000 people have registered to participate.

Source: Xinhua
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