GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Standard and Poor’s downgraded Italy’s sovereign debt Tuesday 20 September by one notch to A/A-1, and it maintained its “negative” outlook. The move came as a surprise to markets, which expected Moody’s to downgrade Italy first, according to CNBC, but it has said it will wait a month to decide.
The S&P move had an immediate impact on the euro, which fell in trading. S&P remarked in its statement that it believes Italy’s National Reform Plan will have little influence on improving the country’s economic performance.
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi lashed out at the rating agency, saying that its assessments seemed “more dictated by newspaper stories than by reality”, according to Aljazeera.