S&P lowers EU long-term credit rating from AAA to AA+
Agency says Europe's creditworthiness has declined20 December, 11:53
S&P explained the downgrade in a note, saying that the EU's 28 member countries' "overall credibility" concerning creditworthiness has weakened.
S&P added that the EU's financial picture has "deteriorated" and its cohesion has "loosened". S&P cited as contributing factors to the downgrade member countries' trouble reaching a common budget, the demands by some to reduce their EU contributions, and sovereign debt crises in several states. The threat of a credit rating downgrade has lingered over the EU for years, and was presaged by a "negative outlook" presented in January 2012.
Some EU members have seen their own credit ratings cut in recent months.