Finance: Credit rating agencies under fire

15 March 2011 – Presseurop El País

“Brussels is training its sights on the rating agencies” writes El País, summing up the request made by the finance ministers of the EU Commission to act “urgently” to regulate the activity of these agencies. The newspaper notes that the Eurogroup decision comes shortly after ratings agency Moody's downgraded its rating for Greece by three notches and for Spain by one. The downgrade came on the eve of the announcement by the governments of these countries of plans for adjustment or reform. They raised “serious doubts” at the European Council on 11 March, where the recovery plans presented by Athens, Lisbon and Dublin had in contrast received a favourable reception. El País adds that “the supervision of activities by the three major U.S. rating agencies Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch is one of the great frustrations of the EU”: the regulations introduced last year have had “very disappointing outcomes in practice.”

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