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Economy

And Why Not Germany? Ratings Downgrades Leave Europe More Divided Than Ever

Analysis: A French look at the euro zone's prospects after Standard and Poor’s (S&P) downgraded the public debt of half of the euro zone. Not only did France lose equal partnership with Germany, Italy risks sinking further into crisis. Bu

European Central Bank, Frankfurt (DuckyDebs)
European Central Bank, Frankfurt (DuckyDebs)
Catherine Chatignoux

BRUSSELS - Standard and Poor's downgrading of France's rating, and that of eight of its European neighbors, is the latest cold blow for the euro zone. During the "black Friday" announcement, S&P took aim at Austria, which like France lost its triple A rating, as well as Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia which were each downgraded by one notch, while Italy, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus' ratings were each cut by two notches. In addition, 14 of the 17 euro-zone countries were given a negative outlook, meaning that they are are likely to be downgraded within a year.

S&P could have downgraded the whole euro zone as a block. But by choosing to deal with each country separately, it has created a risk of increased political and financial tensions across the entire currency zone.

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A man takes a picture of a destroyed Russian tank in Nalyvaikivka, near Kyiv.

Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou, Anne-Sophie Goninet and Bertrand Hauger.

👋 Grüezi!*

Welcome to Monday, where Russia warns Finland and Sweden that joining NATO would be a “grave mistake,” locked-down Shanghai announces it aims for June 1 reopening, and South Asia’s heat wave becomes untenable. Meanwhile, Peter Huth in German daily Die Welt explains why the Doomsday Clock isn’t ticking quite the same for millennials today as it was for baby boomers.

[*Swiss German]

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