France Warned, Belgium Downgraded

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PARIS, Dec. 17 (UPI) — The credit ratings of Belgium and France came under fire this week as plans to solve the European debt crisis failed to impress financial analysts.

Moody’s Investors Service said it would put Belgium at an Aa3 rating, three notches below the top triple-A rating, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

Fitch Ratings, in turn, lowered its outlook for France, dropping it from stable to negative, meaning France’s rating current triple-A rating would be revisited soon.

Fitch said France is the most vulnerable among triple-A rated countries in Europe to a downturn, due to its exposure to government debt that is at the heart of the European financial crisis.

Fitch said the financial solutions agreed to in Brussels two weeks ago — including tighter fiscal discipline and creating a central authority for financial control of EU member states — were “not sufficient to put in place a fully credible financial firewall to prevent a self-fulfilling liquidity and even solvency crisis for some non-AAA euro area” countries, the Journal said.

Fitch also warned Italy and Spain they were at risk of a potential downgrade.

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